Arsonist fear after spate of blazes in one evening

Hampshire police urge residents to ‘ACT’ on terrorism suspicions

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AN ARSONIST is thought to be behind a string of blazes started in one night.

Havant firefighters tackled a spate of four fires less than a mile apart in Leigh Park on Thursday night.

Crew manager Craig Sadler, from Havant fire station, said his team ‘went from one fire to another’ in the 90 minutes from 11pm.

He added that police were linking the four which happened north and south of Middle Park Way.

The first was a bin fire in St Clare’s Avenue shortly after 11pm.

The second broke out minutes later when a garden hedge was set alight in Great Copse Drive.

Mr Sadler added: ‘As we put that out we got a call to another one about 100 yards up the road where bins at the back of the One Stop shop on the corner of Beaulieu Avenue were on fire. There was some damage to the back of the shop.’

Then, within minutes, firefighters had to put out a blaze in the back of a lorry in nearby Portswood Road.

Lee Havey, a watch manager at Havant, said: ’Committing arson is a serious crime which can carry a custodial sentence.

‘Recently a Hampshire man has been sentenced to four years in prison for an arson offence.

‘For even the smallest fire the cost to the public is high. Costs to the fire service, police and councils come from public money. As well as the financial costs it means emergency services are unable to deal with other incidents.’

Anyone with information should call police on 101.