Arsonists torch beach huts

VIDEO THESE charred remains are all that are left today of beloved holiday beach huts after they were torched by fire bugs.Two beach huts overlooking the Felixstowe seafront have been totally destroyed while two other neighbouring ones have been badly damaged.

THESE charred remains are all that are left today of beloved holiday beach huts after they were torched by fire bugs.

Two beach huts overlooking the Felixstowe seafront have been totally destroyed while two other neighbouring ones have been badly damaged.

Fire crews were called at around 1am today to tackle the blaze near the junction of Cliff Road and Golf Road.

Today pensioners Arthur and Maureen Beales, who have a beach hut nearby said arson was a constant worry for all beach hut owners in the seaside resort.

In February this year vandals torched beach huts in the Undercliff Road area of the seafront.

Mr Beales, 78, of Roman Way, Felixstowe said: “It could happen to any of us.

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“We've had a beach hut for around 20 years and the worry increases all the time but luckily it hasn't happened to us yet.

“I don't know what we can do about it, you can't patrol them all the time and we love having a beach hut.”

His wife, 74, said there were at least a couple of incidents each year and that they tended to happen in the weeks after the schools broke up.

She added: “We had a break in once but thankfully nothing was taken, but we don't leave anything in it just to be as safe as possible.”

The couple, who have two sons, said, like most owners, their hut was not insured because the premiums are too high.

Mayor of Felixtowe, Joan Sennington said: “It is awful and very upsetting for the owners when something like this happens.

“It does not happen that often and is not a major problem - vandalism is more common in the winter because people know the huts are less likely to be watched.

“But we can't keep an eye on them 24 hours a day even in the summer. I don't know what motivates this kind of behaviour.”

The fire happened days before the judging is due to take place, on Saturday, for the annual Best Kept Chalet competition, but it is unknown if any of the huts entered for the competition were among those damaged.

n. Did the beach huts belong to you? Contact The Evening Star newsdesk on 01473 324788 or email starnews@eveningstar.co.uk

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