Car dealer's £1,000 reward
AN Ipswich car dealer has today offered a £1,000 reward in a bid to track down the arsonists who came close to destroyed his livelihood.Vandals set light to a car on the forecourt of Cattermoles garage on West End Road which could have caused catastrophic results if the fire had spread to the petrol pumps.
By Amanda Cresswell
AN Ipswich car dealer has today offered a £1,000 reward in a bid to track down the arsonists who came close to destroyed his livelihood.
Vandals set light to a car on the forecourt of Cattermoles garage on West End Road which could have caused catastrophic results if the fire had spread to the petrol pumps.
Owner Ivan Cattermole, 58, said it is the worst incident since 1965 when the family firm began on the site.
"This could have been a much more serious fire. Had it got to the petrol tanks the whole place could have gone up like a bomb. Debris would have spread far and wide.
"It was a shock to come to work and find out what happened over the festive break.
- 1 School submits plan to turn site into 7 homes
- 2 Boy, 14, injured in altercation near Ipswich primary school
- 3 Severe delays on A14 outside Ipswich after vehicle sheds turf on road
- 4 Missing Ipswich man found safe
- 5 Police hunting two men with Suffolk links after cannabis farm discovered
- 6 Emergency services attending incident in Suffolk town
- 7 Aging gas main replacement works begin around Ipswich
- 8 Victim bundled into car and hit with hammer, robbery and kidnap trial hears
- 9 Ipswich teen accused of brandishing machete tells court it was a plastic toy
- 10 'I just don't operate that way' - Town owner Steed tells it straight on first visit
"It is not only my livelihood. We employ 20 people and it could have been their livelihood if the whole thing got going. I don't really want to contemplate how serious it may have been.
"It is a major concern. Not only that it could have caused injury to the person concerned as the car could have exploded. It rather started the New Year off badly for us.
"On a bleak morning the fire must have looked quite startling."
The arsonists set light to the interior of a Rover 620 car and the fire caused slight damage to the property.
Windows of the workshop at the premises were shattered by the heat from the blaze which blistered the paint work of vehicles nearby, putting the total value of repairs at around £5,000.
Fortunately the blaze was spotted by a driver with a mobile phone who alerted the fire brigade before it spread further and destroyed the business causing £500,000 damage to stock and premises.
"We have suffered from isolated minor incidents of vandalism, every business does," said Mr Cattermole.
"In the past we have had wheel trims taken, scratches and scuffs on the cars.
"We happen to be near the nightlife. Obviously people buy burgers down the road and sit on the premises, which I have don't object to as long as they don't target the property."
Cattermoles, which was founded in 1933, sells new and used cars, carries out repairs and servicing and is an agent for Skoda.
The £1,000 reward is for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the arsonist responsible.
Meanwhile a spokewoman for Suffolk Fire Service confirmed the blaze was being treated as suspicious and that the police had been informed.
Anyone with any information about the incident should contact Suffolk Police on 01473-613500.