“You don’t plan for someone setting fire to your home once never mind FOUR times” says devastated arson victim
- Credit: Archant
Arsonists have struck for the FOURTH time at a Fenland pub which a couple are trying to convert into their family home.
Sara Ingram says she has been left “devastated beyond belief” by the latest attack, in the early hours of today, on the former Red Hart at Three Holes.
Mrs Ingram said: “Police and fire investigators believe it was kerosene used in the latest attack.”
The family has been living mainly in a caravan at the back of the pub whilst work has progressed, very slowly, on the modernisation of their new home.
Mrs Ingram said: “The firemen and police thought we were inside.
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“We had planned to put a double bed in the front room this week but decided to put it back to next week.”
The three previous arson attacks have left them shaken and what Mrs Ingram describes as “vulnerable”. It has also cost them their insurance policies – she has been unable to find any company willing to continue to cover them following the attacks.
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The latest fire broke out at about 3am and Mrs Ingram, who had been late to bed with her husband after watching a film, said the first they knew was when the fire service turned up.
The latest fire was started when kerosene was poured over the front door and two window sills.
She said: “This latest fire has left us completely broke. We can’t get insurance, we can’t even afford to get a decontamination unit out to get rid of the smell from the smoke.”
Mrs Ingram and her husband own a house in Chatteris which they are unable to sell because it, too, needs repairs before it can be marketed.
It means though they are paying council tax on two properties – even though West Norfolk Council has told them the former pub is uninhabitable. The pub has no electric, no hot water and no services connected.
Mrs Ingram said: “You don’t plan for someone setting fire to your property once never mind four times.
She said that after the last fire – in April – police had promised to install CCTV, agreeing she was a “targeted” individual. It has yet to be installed.
“Are those who are doing this only going to be happy when they see us taken from the property in body bags,” said Mrs Ingram.
“My husband and I, and our three-year-old twins, are lucky this time to escape. Whoever is doing this please stop – we don’t know what we have done to harm them.
“All we want to do is to make a home for us as a family and get my mother, who has dementia, over here to live with us.
“My little boy Matthew said he should have been awake so he could have got some water and sprayed it at all the bad men.”
The house used to be the Red Hart and was sold to the couple by Elgood’s after it had closed.
The Ingrams bought it in 2012 following a campaign by locals to keep it open as a pub – 76 villagers signed a petition calling for it to remain open.
Norfolk police have appealed for witnesses to the latest arson – contact 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
• A fund to help the Ingrams has been launched today by the Cambs Times and Wisbech Standard. Donations can be dropped off or posted to our office at Audmoor House, 93 High Street, March, PE15 9LH. Cheques should be written to Sara Ingram.