‘Very real danger’ that people could die in Telford arson attacks

Fire chiefs have warned of a “very real danger” that lives could be lost in Telford after a spate of arson attacks that left more than eight cars damaged.

An Audi A3 torched at Woodside

An Audi A3 torched at Woodside

Some of the vehicles have been destroyed in arson attacks in the Woodside area.

Now Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service has put up special warning posters on lampposts in the community and has launched an appeal for information in a bid to catch the culprits responsible for the incidents.

In the latest blaze that was reported at 1am on Tuesday, police were called to Woodside Avenue, in Wantage, where a Seat Leon, Dodge Caliber, Vauxhall Corsa and a Ford Focus were set alight.

The wrecked Audi

The wrecked Audi

That fire is believed to have been started deliberately and spread to a Peugeot 219 and Ford Fusion parked nearby.

There have been similar reports of fire damage being caused to a Renault Megane Sport and Renault Clio, in Woodrows, between midnight and 1am on March 26.

Police officers have been conducting house to house inquiries across the area as part of ongoing investigations.

The latest blaze on April 3 has triggered a strongly worded warning from arson investigators at Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Fire crime officer with Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service Derek Taylor said: “This deliberately started fire quickly spread to other vehicles and could easily have spread to nearby houses.

“This incident and the other similar attacks in Woodside are all occurring in the early hours when most people are asleep in bed and at their most vulnerable should a fire spread to their home.”

The same arsonist is suspected of causing a series of wheelie bin fires also on the estate in recent weeks.

The latest such incident happened, in Wildwood, around 1am on March 24 when a fire deliberately started in a bin spread destroyed a wooden fence and a Toyota Verso, and left a Vauxhall Zafira damaged.

Firefighters based at Tweedale Fire Station have put arson warning signs on lampposts on the estate and fire service and West Mercia Police have joined forces to tackle the problem.

In a further incident firefighters were called to reports of an Audi A3 saloon car ablaze, in Woodrows, at about 1.20am on March 11.

It took two firefighters wearing breathing gear almost 40 minutes to douse the flames and smoke with a hose reel and by the time it was extinguished, the vehicle was badly damaged. At the time an investigation officer said the fire was of “doubtful origin”.

The service added that although vehicle fires were not unusual, it was making the warning because those responsible were still at large and there had been in spike in the number incidents.