Arsonists strike in Gosport road three times in two nights

Car damaged by suspected arson attack in Blackthorn Drove, Gosport.  Picture submitted by John Newton PPP-161211-093640001
Car damaged by suspected arson attack in Blackthorn Drove, Gosport. Picture submitted by John Newton PPP-161211-093640001
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Firefighters were called to a third suspected arson attack on the same road in two nights.

The latest incident, which happened at about 2am today, saw a black Vauxhall Astra set alight in Blackthorn Drive, Gosport.

Fire crews from Gosport went to the scene and used a hose reel and two breathing apparatus as they battled the blaze in an attempt to protect a nearby building that was at risk if the fire spread.

A spokesman for Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service said: ‘The flames were quite well established by the time we arrived.

‘The incident is being treated as suspicious and police were also in attendance.’

This latest fire follows a similar suspected arson attack that took place in the same road at 3.45am yesterday, which saw a van suffer damage.

Local resident Craig-Ross Bethell saw the firefighters battling the fire and the damage afterwards.

He said: ‘It is disgusting that people are out at this time and feel the best way to pass the time is to destroy someone’s property and in the case of the van, their livelihood.’

Fire crews also attended a third separate car fire on the same night in the same road shortly after, which damaged a Peugeot.

They also went to a blaze at flats in the former White Swan pub in Forton Road at 2.55am, where it is believed somebody set fire to rubbish in a communal area, leading to 11 people fleeing their homes, some via the upstairs windows.

Picture: Craig-Ross Bethell

Picture: Craig-Ross Bethell

The damage to the flats has meant that several residents have been told they cannot return this weekend, including Philip Dix.

However police said they were not linking the flat fire to the car attacks.

Leader of Gosport Borough Council Mark Hook has condemned the attacks and urged people to be vigilant in a bid to stop them.

A spokesman from Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service backed his calls.

Picture: Craig Bethell   Aftermath of arson attack in Blackthorn Drove Gosport   November 11, 2016  Submitted via Facebook PPP-161111-225455001

Picture: Craig Bethell Aftermath of arson attack in Blackthorn Drove Gosport November 11, 2016 Submitted via Facebook PPP-161111-225455001

He said: ‘People need to be vigilant and report anything suspicious.’

The incidents come after arsonists went on a spree of destruction and torched four cars – including a police vehicle – in Foster Road and Linden Grove last month.