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Arsonists cause terror in Felixstowe

PUBLISHED: 19:00 23 June 2003 | UPDATED: 14:02 03 March 2010

FIREBUGS were blamed today after four fires in an hour were started on a Felixstowe estate plagued by rowdy youngsters.

Residents said it was not the first time there had been fires and it was lucky more damage had not been caused - and were afraid that unless action is taken, future incidents could put lives put at risk.

FIREBUGS were blamed today after four fires in an hour were started on a Felixstowe estate plagued by rowdy youngsters.

Residents said it was not the first time there had been fires and it was lucky more damage had not been caused – and were afraid that unless action is taken, future incidents could put lives put at risk.

Police were today carrying out house-to-house inquiries at The Walk, Walton, to try to trace the arsonists who set alight three storage shed blocks and a flat.

Fire crews called to the area about 9.40pm last night found three separate brick-built shed blocks ablaze – one at the end of each of the three 1960s blocks of flats and maisonettes, Lancaster, Kent and Gloucester Houses.

It appeared that a gang had set the fires simultaneously or one person had run along the alley at the end of the blocks setting each fire.

The sheds contained black bags of rubbish, and items such as old carpets, small pieces of furniture and garden chairs.

Firefighters had only just returned to the fire station when they got a call to say that a ground-floor flat at Lancaster House was on fire. They returned and found the doorway of an empty flat alight.

One resident who spoke to the Evening Star said: "We have had problems here for a long time. The council and the housing association took some action to deal with them but it hasn't really got much better.

"We have kids tearing around here at all hours up and down the alleys and walkways, shouting and causing disturbance, banging on doors and fighting.

"This is not the first time we have had fires and I don't expect it will be the last until some proper action is taken.

"We just want to live our lives quietly. These alleys should be sealed off and we should have CCTV cameras, and road humps to stop the access road being used as a car racetrack."

Another resident said: "I called the fire brigade because I smelled smoke and then someone said there were three fires. It is quite frightening. I live on the top floor and there is only one set of stairs to get down to the ground – if something major happened we would have no chance."

The shed blocks were communal and used by families to store their rubbish until collection day, but residents said people from outside the estate were driving up and dumping old furniture and rubbish in the blocks.

"People are using this estate as a rubbish dump – look under the stairs and see the old furniture people have just driven up and left there," she said.

Police confirmed the fires were arson and appealed for anyone who saw or heard anything or people acting suspiciously or running away to contact them on 01473 613500.

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