An architect whose family home burned down in a huge blaze has suffered another blow after his wife caught thieves stripping lead from his office roof.

Clive Chapman, 55, has decided to install security cameras at his house on Eel Pie Island, as detectives continue to investigate the suspected arson on September 12.

The architect of the proposed Twickenham riverside development has been working tirelessly to restore the home which took him 25 years to build.

But as his wife Lacy was walking to work at 5am last Thursday she spotted three thieves stealing lead from his garden office.

Mr Chapman said: “When confronted they said ‘we are doing the demolition’. She ran back to get me but by the time I got there they had got away, not before they had stripped half of it off though.

“The police arrived on the scene shortly afterwards.”

The father-of-two said the office, where he runs his firm Clive Chapman Architects, won a sustainability design award in 2000.

He said he has been making “good progress” re-building the five-bedroom family home, which he completed in 2007, but added: “It is a sad state of affairs, but after the fire and now this, we have no option but to install security cameras.”

Detective Inspector Malcolm Hudson, of Twickenham police, said: “Obviously these are pressing times, and lead is expensive and there’s a bit of a market in it.

“The officers concerned are making inquiries around the company that these people said they were from.

“Anybody who saw anyone acting suspiciously around there, any information would be gratefully recieved.”

Police have been investigating whether a bike stolen from Mr Chapman’s house on the same weekend it burned down was connected to the blaze.

Anyone with information about the blaze or the lead theft should call D Con Guy on 020 8247 7096 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.