Arson rampage: Car fire spree goes on

A SICKENED car owner today told of her outrage after she became the latest victim of yobs carrying out an arson spree on cars in Ipswich.Naomi Cassidy was devastated to find her pride and joy had been torched by arsonists in the middle of the night.

A SICKENED car owner today told of her outrage after she became the latest victim of yobs carrying out an arson spree on cars in Ipswich.

Naomi Cassidy was devastated to find her pride and joy had been torched by arsonists in the middle of the night.

The 26-year-old said: “I felt pure shock. I couldn't take it in. Then the anger and outrage set in.”

Miss Cassidy, a reporter with The Evening Star, had only lived in Ipswich for two weeks after moving from Upminster in Essex. She has been left stunned by the loss of her aqua marine Rover Metro, which was her first car.

She said: “My boyfriend had been driving back to our house and he saw it. He came and told me my car had been burnt out.

“I was so upset. It's my little car - how dare they do that to it.

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“The neighbours said they heard loud bangs and they saw a fireball.”

The fire broke out at about 3.30am yesterday while the car was parked in Constitution Hill around the corner from Miss Cassidy's Warrington Road home. A fire crew was called and the fire was brought under control by about 4am.

The car was completely destroyed and the heat had been so intense nothing was left of the interior.

Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service said it was treating the cause of the blaze as suspicious - making it the most recent in a string of car fires which are the work of arsonists.

Other streets targeted since April 14 include Ritabrook Road, Broadmere Road, Bramle Wood, Christchurch Street, Cobham Road, Hawke Road, Heather Avenue, Ellenbrook Road, Landseer Park, Woodbrush Road and Hurricane Place.

The total damage bill is now believed to be well into the tens of thousands and police have urged the public to report anything suspicious as soon as they see it.

Extra police patrols are being carried out and, speaking after some of the earlier car fires, Chief Inspector Bruce Robinson, district commander for Ipswich, said: “Because of the location of vehicles outside residential properties it is not unforeseeable that a home could catch fire with potentially fatal consequences.”

Miss Cassidy today issued a warning to other car owners to park their car in a driveway if they have one and to remove everything they can from the car when they park it somewhere.

She said: “Luckily I'd removed all my car documents from it - don't leave anything inside.”

Anyone who can help the hunt for the fire bugs should call Ipswich CID on 01473 613500 or Crimestoppers on 0800555111.

Has your car been targeted in the same way? Call The Evening Star newsdesk on 01473 324788 or e-mail starnews@eveningstar.co.uk .

Car fires: the human toll. Naomi Cassidy tells of her feelings after her 1996 Rover Metro - which she called Patrick - was torched.

“I was really attached to my car. I got it a few years ago for my first job. It was my first and it was very reliable. It helped me through thick-and-thin and it had never broken down.

I'd heard there were a lot of car fires happening. When I read the stories I had thought about it but since the area where I live is a nice area I didn't think it would happen here.

I used to live in Romford (in Essex) and this kind of thing happened a lot there but I wouldn't have thought it would happen here.

I don't think I'm covered by insurance because they're saying it's an act of vandalism rather than a fire so I probably won't be covered. That will mean I have to buy a new car and I will have to pay for the recovery of my Metro.

I've just moved into a new flat and a new town - I can't really be doing with this extra cost.

The fire just left a shell, the whole thing is melted. I'm just baffled as to who would do this and why.

I've just spent £300 on it and today I was due to pay my car tax. With my first pay packet I was going to get a new back wheel for it as well - now I have to get a whole new car.”

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