Arsonists strike SEVEN times in a fortnight in same area of Wisbech, attacking same derelict college buildings

Firefighters tackled a fire in a derelict building on Meadowgate Lane, Wisbech, on Monday (May 8). T

Firefighters tackled a fire in a derelict building on Meadowgate Lane, Wisbech, on Monday (May 8). The cause of the fire is believed to have been deliberate. PHOTO: Ian Carter - Credit: Archant

Arsonists have hit seven times in a fortnight at empty and derelict buildings on the former College of West Anglia campus in Meadowgate Lane, Wisbech.

The latest fire occurred yesterday and tied up four fire engines and crews for over three years, says Cambs fire and rescue.

Crew Commander Ian Cuthill said: “The people responsible for starting these fires have been very lucky they have not been injured themselves. Fire can spread quickly and cause buildings to become unstable and collapse.

“They also have asbestos in them making them even more hazardous if they are disturbed.”

Chief Inspector Dave Murphy of Cambs Police said: “We are increasing patrols in the area in an effort to target those responsible for the recent arsons. Apart from the obvious risk to people and property these incidents are understandably causing a great deal of concern within the local community.

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“We are working closely with our fire service colleagues and we will ensure that anyone caught committing offences are prosecuted and brought before the courts.

Anyone with information about who is responsible for the recent fires in Meadowgate Lane should contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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Mr Cuthill said: “We would urge parents to please speak to their children and remind them about the dangers of fire-setting and being in disused buildings in the first place as they are not safe places to play. What can start out to be a bit of fun can have tragic consequences. We do not know it is young people involved but we want to make sure the message is given to everyone.

He added: “There is also another consequence that people who deliberately start fires do not think about and that’s if our fire crews from Wisbech are tied up at a fire that has been deliberately started, it will take longer for someone to get a fire crew if they have an emergency where someone’s life may be at risk”

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