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Manager blasts vindictive arsonist

PUBLISHED: 04:11 12 September 2002 | UPDATED: 12:37 03 March 2010

VICTIMS of a series of arson attacks today launched a scathing attack on the firestarters labelling them as "vindictive".

An empty outbuilding was gutted at Bentek Training Services, in Ranelagh Road.

VICTIMS of a series of arson attacks today launched a scathing attack on the firestarters labelling them as "vindictive".

An empty outbuilding was gutted at Bentek Training Services, in Ranelagh Road. A witness at the time stated that children were seen in the area.

Leonard Potgieter, facilities manager, said: "We have had problems in the past, normally in the school holidays, with children coming on the premises but there has been nothing malicious.

"It think it is just mindless or boredom. I don't think it is anything vindictive."

The arsonist struck around 5.45pm Saturday.

Managers at three other business have also hit out after their buildings were plagued by firebugs within 48 hours of the blaze at Bentek.

Just before midnight on Friday, wooden pallets were set alight behind the premises of Bedford and Jennings Ltd timber frame manufacturers.

Manager Dean Jennings said: "We didn't lose anything, it is just annoying. It could have been a lot worse because we have a lot of moneys worth of wood in here."

In another incident, at around 3.55am on Saturday, newspapers were shoved between double-doors and then set alight at Suffolk College, on Ropes Walk.

Jean Dunn, estates manager at the college, has worked there for 27 years and says that no similar incidents have ever happened there before.

She said: "The people who done it were just being a nuisance. There was a trolley out there full of paper and if they had really wanted to start a fire they would have set that alight. We were very lucky really."

On Monday, at around 1am, lit newspapers were pushed through a letterbox at Burostat, on Cavendish Street.

The incident caused around £1,000 worth of damage to a mat and the door, which will both have to be replaced.

Commercial manager Paul Gegg said: "We have had problems in the past with vandalism and that kind of thing but we are not aware of anyone with a grudge against us."

The company is currently considering getting rid of it's letterbox and replacing it with a wall box.

Inspector Paul Haystead, of Ipswich Police, said: "We are investigating each of these fires individually, which at this stage are being treated as arson.

"It is of great concern that these fires are being started deliberately and causing extensive damage. In some situations these fires could potentially become life threatening.

Anyone with any information should call 01473 613500 or 0800 555111.

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