A father of two has been charged with burning down Croydon’s historic furniture store, which was torched last week in the rioting.

Gordon Thompson, 33, saluted to friends in Croydon magistrates court as he was remanded in custody and led to the cells.

He is alleged to have started the fire that engulfed the 150-year-old family-owned furniture store Reeves of Croydon, which had survived two world wars.

The building, which had been in the Reeves family for five generations, was reduced to a shell and has now been demolished.

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The painter and decorator was charged with two counts of arson, one of recklessly endangering life, two of burglary and one of violent disorder.

He is accused of stealing a laptop from Reeves and other items from House of Fraser, nearby.

He wore ripped jeans and a grey jumper and only spoke to confirm his details.

District Judge Robert Hunter said: “Due to the gravity and serious nature of these offences bail is denied.”

He will appear at the Inner London Crown Court on August 22.

Trevor Reeves, 56, said last week: “Our business has been badly hit by mindless thuggery.”