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Saturday, 19 April 2014

Barbecues used to start £5,000 trailer blaze

A BUSINESSMAN is counting the cost after vandals torched a trailer, destroying his daughter’s motocross bikes.

Police are treating the incident, which happened in the early hours of yesterday morning, as arson.

The trailer’s owner, Chris Hartley, of Hartley’s Memorials, said the attack caused thousands of pounds worth of damage.

The storage and transport trailer, parked in St Matthew's Mews, near Harrogate Street in Barrow, was set on fire after two disposable barbecues were placed under the trailer and set alight.

Although no tools or equipment were lost in the fire, Mr Hartley said his 13-year-old daughter Ainsleigh was distraught after her motocross bikes, which were in the trailer, were destroyed in the blaze. A promotional sign was also too badly damaged to save.

Mr Hartley said: “I was gobsmacked. I just can’t understand why someone would do it to me. I try to look after people and give them a good deal, but maybe that’s what’s made someone do this.

“It is going to affect the business quite a lot. My little lass is distraught.”

The father-of-two was also concerned by the proximity of the fire to a neighbouring electricity sub-station, an elderly resident’s home and his son’s car, which he says had a full tank of petrol.

The latest incident is not the first time Mr Hartley’s trailer has been attacked. All four tyres were slashed while the vehicle was parked near the cemetery seven months ago.

Mr Hartley, 44, said: “Someone had to have the knowledge to know how to start the fire like they did.

“At first I thought it was kids messing about but the man from the fire brigade told me it was deliberate. It’s just heart-breaking.

“Whoever has done this has meant to cause some serious damage and hurt me.”

Sergeant Richard Bell of Barrow police said the total value of the vehicles was £5,000; a box trailer valued at £2,000, and a 50cc motorcross motorcycle, a 100cc motorcross motorcycle and a 200cc motorcross motorcycle each valued at £1,000. One fire engine from Barrow attended the scene at 1.34am yesterday. Watch manager at Barrow fire station, Steve Bushell, said: “All fires have the potential to spread and cause a more serious incident involving danger to life.”

Police are appealing for anyone with information regarding the incident to contact Barrow police on 0845 3300247 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

l The police were yesterday still investigating an arson attack at Lakes Roofing in St George’s Square, Barrow, on Friday night. Two vans and a temporary cabin ended up on fire and highly flammable propane cylinders were found nearby.

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