UPDATE: Police step up patrols following spate of deliberate fires in Wisbech
Police have increased patrols in Wisbech following a spate of deliberately started fires in the Meadowgate Lane area of the town.
In the latest incident, fire crews spent three hours battling flames in a derelict house yesterday.
That, along with a blaze in a former College of West Anglia building on Monday, have taken the total number of incidents in the area to seven in the past three weeks.
Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service crew commander Ian Cuthill said a short time ago: “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.
“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.
“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.”
Chief Inspector Dave Murphy, of Cambridgeshire Police, added: “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.
“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 any of the recent blazes is asked to contact police on 101.