Two deliberate fires at children’s play area over weekend as lockdown restrictions lifted
PUBLISHED: 11:54 07 July 2020 | UPDATED: 11:54 07 July 2020
A children’s play area in Cambridgeshire was targeted by arsonists twice in one weekend as lockdown restrictions were lifted on recreational areas.
Two separate fires were started at the playground in Nightingale Court, Gunthorpe in Peterborough on Saturday (July 4) and early Monday morning (July 6).
The first incident was call in at around 2.30am on Saturday morning, where a sofa was set alight and left in the park.
At around 1.30am on Monday morning crews were again called to the fire involving the play equipment.
Despite the fast attendance from the crew from Dogsthorpe Fire Station, the equipment was significantly damaged.
Station commander Pete Jones, the service’s arson liaison officer, said: “It is very disappointing to see community resources like this completely ruined.
“Especially when they’ve not been available to use due to the pandemic lockdown. The local children will now miss out for longer due to the actions of irresponsible people lighting fires.
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“Arson is a serious crime and can have severe consequences for those that start a fire, no matter how big or how small it is.
“Not only this, but any fire presents significant risks for anyone around the area if it gets out of hand, as well as for the fire crews sent to tackle them.
“These fires could have easily spread from the park to the surrounding properties and caused more damage and injuries to residents.
“There are some simple things people can do to help reduce the risk of arson. Parents can be a big help by speaking with their children and ensuring they know the risks and dangers of fire.
“Making sure that lighters and matches are kept well out of reach of children, as well as making sure they stay clear of disused or derelict buildings, can also make a big difference.
“Also reporting any flytipping to the local council so they get it removed is very important.
“We saw the fire on Friday was from a sofa set alight, had it not been there the fire might not have happened.
“Keeping communities safe from arson is really important and we all need to work together help prevent fires.
“Reporting suspicious activity and flytipping, as well as speaking to young people about the dangers of fires are some of the things that can be done to help avoid fires like this destroying community areas for everyone.”
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