Residents fear for safety after spate of garage fires

LIVING IN FEAR ''Residents of Rosebery Avenue at the scene of a fire in garages to the rear of Lonsdale Avenue, Cosham. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (1444-384)
LIVING IN FEAR ''Residents of Rosebery Avenue at the scene of a fire in garages to the rear of Lonsdale Avenue, Cosham. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (1444-384)

In the Courts – latest update

0
Have your say

RESIDENTS are afraid that someone could lose their life if a spate of arson attacks continues.

A meeting is being planned after five separate incidents involving garage fires in Cosham have been reported to the police since September.

PROBE Hampshire police investigate a fire in garages behind Lonsdale Avenue, Cosham. Picture: Allan Hutchings (1444-363)

PROBE Hampshire police investigate a fire in garages behind Lonsdale Avenue, Cosham. Picture: Allan Hutchings (1444-363)

The latest involves a garage, which was set fire to yesterday morning in the Rosebery Avenue area.

At around 3am, firefighters were called to a blaze started in a shed in a garden in Lonsdale Avenue, which is attached to the family’s garage. Firefighters managed to stop the fire before it spread.

Peter Jenkins, who lives two doors down, said: ‘There have been at least three in the last few months within 10 yards of each other.

‘Nothing has happened to me but we are only two doors away. You wonder who it will happen to next.

‘I don’t know what the police can do; I don’t know what we can do for ourselves. The man who it has happened to has dogs. He leaves the lights on in the shed to stop burglars but that does not seem to work.’

Eileen Peaston, who lives in Rosebery Avenue opposite the block of garages that have been targeted, said if the culprit is not stopped, she is concerned someone could die.

She said: ‘There are quite a lot of old people down here. Old people are not as quick at getting out of their homes.

‘I feel quite annoyed in the way this is happening.

‘It’s worrying maybe one day people won’t get out and someone will die.’

Another concerned neighbour, Charlotte Camp, who lives behind the some of garages that have been targeted in Rosebery Avenue, said her seven-year-old daughter will no longer sleep in her own bed for fear her family might be subject to an attack.

She said: ‘My daughter says she does not like living here any more. She won’t sleep in her own bed.

‘When it is affecting your kids, it’s not on.’

Hampshire Constabulary confirmed it has been called out five times because of the ‘unusual series of arson attacks’.

Inspector Claire Taylor said: ‘We have been speaking to residents in the areas affected by this unusual series of arson attacks.

‘The Safer Neighbourhoods team has been updating the Neighbourhood Watch with information, conducting house to house enquiries and delivering information leaflets.

‘We’re looking into tactical options to identify potential offenders.’

SUSPICIOUS BEHAVIOUR NEEDS TO BE REPORTED TO POLICE

AN APPEAL has gone out to get more information on who could be causing the arson attacks.

A Hampshire Constabulary spokesman said: ‘We’re appealing to anyone who has seen any suspicious activity, particularly in the early hours of the morning.

‘Do you know who could be involved in this? Has someone you know been behaving unusually, or going out in the early hours of the morning in suspicious circumstances?

‘Is someone you know buying accelerant for an unknown reason?’ Call 101.