Plea for arsonists to stop torchings

A FIRE officer today called for arsonists in east Ipswich to stop torching cars after labelling them life-threatening time wasters.Fire crews were called to the parade of shops at Reynolds Road, at 4.

A FIRE officer today called for arsonists in east Ipswich to stop torching cars after labelling them life-threatening time wasters.

Fire crews were called to the parade of shops at Reynolds Road, at 4.20am on Saturday morning when two cars were set alight.

They worked until 5am to put the fires out and were called back to the area at 6am when two more cars were set alight in Queen's Way.

Paul Seager, assistant divisional officer, said: "Fires like this are frustrating on a number of levels. These cars are presumably stolen which is obviously annoying to the owners. They were placed next to flats where people were sleeping, endangering their lives and allowing smoke to get in and cause damage. Had the fires not been noticed it could have been life-threatening.

"The fires had already damaged the shop fronts but we could not wake the occupants above the Chinese take away so had to brake in, causing even more damage to the property. The occupants were then evacuated."

Three fire engines arrived on the scene and 16 firefighters attended. An ambulance and police officers were also called out.

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Mr Seager said it was not the first incident where fire crews have been called out to this area to deal with cars that had been set alight.

He said, on average, they are called out to deal with problems in the area twice a week.

Mr Seager said: "If there are people in the area who saw this I would urge them to go to the police with the information.

"To the people who are responsible for this I would plead with you to stop. You are causing a danger to yourselves, other people and an extreme cost to those whose properties you are damaging.

"We try to be proactive and educate people to prevent fires, but deliberate fires like this are a waste of everybody's time and money and could so easily end in disaster."

Dispersal orders were placed on both streets in September after a spate of anti-social behaviour in the area.

Have you been affected by car fires in the area? Write to us at Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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