Man arrested after fire drama

VIDEO A man has been arrested on suspicion of arson today after nine cars and three caravans were burnt out in Manningtree and Mistley.

Naomi Cassidy

A MAN has been arrested on suspicion of arson today after nine cars and three caravans were burnt out in Manningtree and Mistley.

The first fire was reported shortly before 2am in Malthouse Road when a caravan was set alight.

A few minutes later, police were called to a car fire in Oxford Road in Mistley where a Peugeot 106 had been set alight.

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At around 3.30am while police were making enquiries, three other fires in Manningtree were reported in the space of ten minutes. Two caravans and a hedgerow in Hilton Close were set alight, a residential garden fence was on fire in Alma Square and in Stour Street a Vauxhall Astra was found burnt out alongside a badly fired-damaged Mercedes A160.

The fire had also caused damage to an adjoining building.

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The final report of fires came shortly before 4.30am when two cars were set alight in a public car park in Kiln Lane, with a further three sustaining fire damage. These vehicles were a Citroen Berlingo, Nissan vanette, Renault Megane, Ford KA and a Fiat Punto.

A 44-year-old man from the Manningtree area was arrested by officers a short time later on suspicion of arson. He is currently being questioned by detectives at Clacton police station.

Charlotte Haines, 20, whose silver Renault Megane went up in flames, said: “In the car park outside my house two of the cars were completely blown up and it's affected the others nearby.

“Mine has been completely destroyed. My tyres are ruined and everything inside is melted too.

“I woke up at about 3.30am with a sound like a bomb. I looked outside and there were big flames everywhere.

“The fire service was here within minutes but they couldn't stop the damage and it was 5.30am by the time they left.”

Meanwhile, Clare Pattison, 41, whose cream Mini Cooper was burnt out, said: “I woke up at about 3am and the car was on fire.”

Fire crews from Manningtree, Colchester, and Dovercourt attended the scene and battled the flames, which were extinguished by 3.50am.

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service is carrying out an investigation.

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