Youth seen fleeing blazing hut

WITNESSES saw a youth with his clothes on fire running away from a seafront fishing hut as it burned down, it was revealed today.Police investigating the blaze are urging anyone who may have seen the incident - or know someone who has suffered fire damage to their clothes or a burn - to come forward.

WITNESSES saw a youth with his clothes on fire running away from a seafront fishing hut as it burned down, it was revealed today.

Police investigating the blaze are urging anyone who may have seen the incident - or know someone who has suffered fire damage to their clothes or a burn - to come forward.

Today the owners of the fishing hut - a popular landmark on Felixstowe's beach for more than 60 years - confirmed it will be rebuilt on the same site, though they cannot promise the new one will have the old one's famous tilt.

A fund has been set up to help pay for the rebuild.

A police spokeswoman confirmed there had been a report at the time of the fire just after 2am on Saturday that a person had been seen running from the hut on the shore near the Spa Pavilion with their clothes on fire.

“It is a line of inquiry we are investigating and we would be very interested in speaking to other witnesses who were in the area at the time of the fire,” she said.

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“Anyone who has any information about the fire, two boats which were stolen or other damage around that area of the seafront should contact officers as any information could be vital to our inquiries.”

The hut was a distinctive feature on the seafront, surrounded by boats - a rowing boat and catamaran have gone missing: set afloat or been stolen - and fishing gear.

Owner Peter Fryer said: “I don't understand why anyone would do something so mindless.

“Although I only fish for pleasure now, lots of people use the hut as a beach hut, family and friends and the like and they're upset. A lot of people have many fond memories of days spent down there.

“However, Felixstowe has a great community spirit and already I've received several offers of timber, as well as people to help rebuild it. I'd like to build it as near to the original as possible - although I don't know if I'll get quite the same list!”

His mother Mitzi Fryer said: “It is really is very sad. Two engines were lost as well as the boats and it seemed as if the hut had been targeted.

“It's great to see people rallying round though and so willing to help clear up the site and provide timber and help to rebuild.”

Anyone who has any information about the fire or other vandalism along the seafront should contact Pc Sharon Farthing of Felixstowe police on 01473 613500.

If you would like to contribute to the fund to rebuild the hut, ring Felicity Meyer on 01473 724065 or Harry Fryer on 01394 670642.

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