Rampage by suspected car arsonists

IPSWICH has been placed on arson alert today after a suspected firestarter stepped up an ongoing rampage by torching five cars in the early hours of today.

IPSWICH has been placed on arson alert today after a suspected firestarter stepped up an ongoing rampage by torching five cars in the early hours of today.

Between 2.45am and 6am blazes were started in five vehicles parked in Ipswich streets adding to two car fires yesterday morning and a marked increase over the past month.

One of the incidents bore striking similarities to a three car inferno on Saturday morning in Hurricane Place, Ravenswood, that caused £25,000 damage and forced two families to flee their homes.

Geoff Pyke, assistant divisional officer, said: “My fire crews are being exposed to risk every time they go to one of these fires.

“This is not just a nuisance - these are serious crimes.

“We have seen in the last month or so a large increase in the number of car fires.

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“I would think it is the same person or people due to the fact they are happening night after night.”

Today's first fire happened at Heather Avenue, Racecourse, at 2.45am. A second fire was started in Cobham Road, just a few hundred yards away, within minutes of the first. This was followed by a fire in Bramblewood, Belstead, at 4.15am.

There were also fires at Christchurch Street at 4.51am and Hawke Road, Greenwich at 6am.

The fire at Christchurch Street involved three cars, one of which had been stolen, parked up behind two other cars and set alight.

The blaze spread to the property's garage and bore similarities to an incident in Hurricane Place, Ravenswood, on Saturday morning when a stolen car was torched on a residential driveway following a police chase.

Chris Hewson, 59, whose car was damaged during the Christchurch Street incident, said: “It was quite a shock to wake up to shouting and see tall orange flames from the window.

“Whoever has done this lives their life in such a destructive way is quite sad and I feel sorry for them.”

Chief Inspector Bruce Robinson, of Suffolk police, said it is too early to say whether the culprit is working alone or as part of a larger gang.

He said: “We are extremely concerned about this series of incidents and would like to hear from individuals if they have seen anything going on.”

Anyone with information on the spate of arsons is asked to contact police on 01473 613500 or the arson alert hotline on 0800 555 111.

N have you been affected by the car attacks? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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