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Saturday, 29 November 2014

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Cumbria police hunt for arsonist after spate of fires

A serial arsonist is being hunted in west Cumbria after a spate of fires.

Allotment sheds fire photo
The allotment sheds targeted in Workington

Police have launched an investigation after fire chiefs revealed they are linking a number of attacks on sheds, which almost killed two dogs.

Workington station manager Adrian Holme said: “We’re looking at two areas; the Mossbay area and Flimby, and it’s possible that the fires in these two areas may be linked, or there may be a couple of perpetrators.

“We’re working closely with the police and we want to hear from witnesses.”

Mr Holme said those responsible should realise that such fires create unnecessary risk and expense – with harsh punishments meted out by courts.

He added: “As well as putting firefighters at risk, they damage property and tie up valuable resources.

“We have had to spend many hours dealing with these deliberate fires – and we do believe they’re deliberate.”

In the Flimby fire, said Mr Holme, there was further risk created by the presence in one shed of a gas cylinder.

A relative of one pensioner whose shed was destroyed by fire at Douglas Road, Workington, said he was devastated by its loss, and the destruction of his gardening equipment which was stored inside.

The fires began shortly before 2am on Saturday when a shed was set alight in Flimby near to the A595.

Later that night several allotment sheds were torched on Douglas Road, Workington, and these were quickly followed by another shed fire at Derwent Drive where two dogs in a nearby shed had to be rescued.

Crews were called out again to three more suspicious fires on Sunday – at Princes Way, Workington; Derwent Howe Industrial Estate; and at an allotment in Netherhall Road, Maryport.

The fires came after a series of grass fires last week in Mossbay, Northside and the Cloffocks.

Last Tuesday night, firefighters put out four blazes between 6pm and 10pm at New Bridge Road and Adams Road in Workington, and Westfield Terrace and the A596 at Flimby.

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