May 20 2013 Latest news:
Jessica Earnshaw, Reporter
Friday, November 9, 2012
Thirty foot flames engulfed an allotment society’s buildings reducing them to a cinder in the early hours, leaving members “horrified” at the damage.
The fire which started at around 3.30am at the North Hainault Allotment Society, Tomswood Hill, Hainault took 30 firefighters a number of hours to put out.
Chairman of the society, David Sevant, said: “I am pretty horrified at what has happened; the buildings are very important to us.
“They have been burnt to a cinder, after being on the site for 80 years. We use the buildings as a shop for the community and for storage. My information is that the cause is suspect.”
Owner of The Bodyshop, which was also caught in the fire, Fred Kauter, said: “There’s been about £70,000 worth of damage to the back of my shop, even though the firefighters were on top of the fire by the time I got here at 5am.
“They had to go through our building to put the fire out. If the cars had caught fire the whole place would have gone up. I feel lucky, as there were five Bentleys in earlier this week.
“I was asked by the police if we knew of any bad feelings towards the society but we all get on well. Someone must have had a bee in their bonnet as the fire looked deliberate.”
A spokesman for Hainault Fire Station, who described the fire as “quite something”, did not leave the scene till 7am.
One neighbour, who did not want to be named, added: “I couldn’t believe the size of the flames, they were very high. I was fearful the fire could spread, as my house is only metres away.
“It is such a shame for the residents who work on the allotments, I don’t understand why anyone would do this.”