A FIRE believed to have been started on purpose had four gas canisters underneath, according to fire crews
Firefighters from Waterlooville Fire Station came across a fire at King George Park in Ashling Park Road, Denmead, last night – which they say had been started deliberately.
Pictures shared by the fire station on Twitter last night show a mattress lit on top of a bed of leaves, hiding four gas canisters underneath. A caravan can also be seen in the background.
The service says that had it not attended the incident so quickly, it could have been much more serious.
A spokesman from Hampshire Fire and Rescue said: ‘We came across the incident at 8.05pm – it was a running incident found while returning from a previous job.
‘A mattress and rubbish was on fire with a number of gas cylinders underneath.
‘It looks like a one-off incident but it can present a lot of danger to fire crews and the public.
‘Crews are aware that these sorts of fires can happen at this time of year, over the period between Halloween and Bonfire Night.’
The site has been home to some travellers in the past couple of weeks – although they left on Tuesday, head of Denmead Parish Council, Cllr Paula Langford-Smith, believes the fire is the remnants of what they left behind.
Cllr Langford-Smith said: ‘The travellers may have gone but they clearly left quite a lot of stuff behind.
‘They won’t have set it on fire themselves – but it could have been someone who did it as part of Halloween last night.
'It’s a very stupid thing to do; the council clean-up of the park begins today but parts of the park won’t be usable until Christmas, which is going to have a real impact on a community that has already had a tough couple of weeks.’
The incident has also been reported to Hampshire police.