Garden shed is the latest of three unexplained fires in Blackfield

Daily Echo: Hampshire police investigate arson attacks Hampshire police investigate arson attacks

A VULNERABLE pensioner was the latest victim in a spate of suspected arson attacks sweeping through a Hampshire village.

The frail man in his 80s narrowly avoided disaster when a blaze tore through his garden in Blackfield in the early hours of yesterday morning.

The fire, which broke out at his home in Blackfield Road at 12.30am is the third blaze in the village in three weeks – prompting detectives to launch a criminal investigation.

The pensioner – who has mobility problems – was unharmed, but the blaze gutted his garden shed and summer house while there was heat damage to his house.

It also caused a blackout to the rest of his property as the summer house was connected to the electrical supply.

Crews from Hardley and Beaulieu arrived and used two water jets to put out the flames before police guarded the scene overnight.

Detective Constable Giulio Pizzo said: “This fire could have easily spread to the house if it hadn’t been spotted and could have put the victim in real life-threatening danger.

“I would urge anyone who has any information on how this fire started to get in touch with us.”

It follows a fire at Harry’s Fish and Kebab Shop in Hampton Lane in the early hours of Saturday, December 7.

A shed containing an old fryer, empty cooking oil containers and paint pots was set alight behind the takeaway which also caused heat damage to the property and the flat above.

A Volvo Amazon Estate was set on fire in Saxon Close the same evening.

Takeaway owner Harry Charalanbous, 58, was playing poker with six members of his family to celebrate his son Theo-Harry’s 22nd birthday when the fire started. He said: “We just can’t understand why someone would do it.

“You don’t expect it to happen here because it’s normally very quiet and there’s usually nothing untoward going on.

“If it wasn’t for my brother looking out and seeing the shed on fire it could have spread to the house.”

“They are messing with people’s lives.”

Anyone who witnesses any of the incidents should contact Lyndhurst CID on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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