Arsons in Woolston in Southampton are putting lives at risk say traders

Woolston traders Steve Batten and Dean Cummins outside Steve's flooring company where there have been arson attacks

Woolston traders Steve Batten and Dean Cummins outside Steve's flooring company where there have been arson attacks

First published in News Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

POLICE are hunting a serial arsonist after a spate of blazes in a Southampton community.

Business owners told of their fears that further attacks could put people's lives at risk.

They spoke out after industrial bins outside two companies were targeted within an hour.

Although no-one was hurt, traders warn it could have been a lot more serious if these blazes had not been spotted in time.

Firefighters were called to Fort Road at its junction with Portsmouth Road to a digger ablaze yesterday at around 5.40am.

Less than half an hour later they tackled a bin blaze outside the CCL Cleaning Group Ltd office half a mile further down the road.

But they were on the same street in Woolston less than two weeks before, on August 21.

Police launched an arson investigation after a spate of early morning bin fires along the road that Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service believed were started deliberately.

One outside The Flooring Company spread to the building causing thousands of pounds of external damage.

But company director Steve Batten said without quick intervention by firefighters, who spotted it on their way to another nearby blaze, the flames could have wiped out the two firms and spread to the flats next door, which were left with cracked windows.

“They don't care about people's livelihoods,” he said. “We need the bin there but how do we know what's going to happen in the future? We don't know if they're going to try and get that one too. Next time I fear it could be much worse. They're putting people's lives at risk. Someone could have been killed.”

Daily Echo:

The burnt-out digger

Dean Cummins, director of CCL Cleaning Group, said: “It's very dangerous. Because it's only a bit of damage and it's all insured nobody seems to care. When will they act on it? How bad has it got to be?”

Both businessmen called for police to do more after they were told the investigation had been closed on the first fire.

Resident Katy Reilly, 33, of Portsmouth Road, in the flats nearby affected by the fire echoed their concerns. “We always felt really safe here - it's just a bit unnerving,” she said.

A Hampshire Police spokesman confirmed police were investigating and said although the initial investigation had been closed, in light of the recent incidents it would be looked at again.

Any witnesses or anyone with information can call police on 101.

Comments (8)

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6:43am Tue 2 Sep 14

Huey says...

Classic arms folded photo, well done echo.
Classic arms folded photo, well done echo. Huey
  • Score: 10

1:05pm Tue 2 Sep 14

lillylooper says...

arson wenger did it !!
arson wenger did it !! lillylooper
  • Score: -5

2:19pm Tue 2 Sep 14

riverbanks says...

The problem is this sort of article will just spur them on more. Its the attention they want, I bet theyre cutting the articles out of the newspaper and keeping them as "trophies".
Hopefully someone catches them and just beats the **** out of them, that might help.
The problem is this sort of article will just spur them on more. Its the attention they want, I bet theyre cutting the articles out of the newspaper and keeping them as "trophies". Hopefully someone catches them and just beats the **** out of them, that might help. riverbanks
  • Score: 1

4:05pm Tue 2 Sep 14

WoolstonSean says...

riverbanks wrote:
The problem is this sort of article will just spur them on more. Its the attention they want, I bet theyre cutting the articles out of the newspaper and keeping them as "trophies".
Hopefully someone catches them and just beats the **** out of them, that might help.
I'll beat the **** out them if I saw them doing anything untoward, people that do this sort of thing are total wasters.
[quote][p][bold]riverbanks[/bold] wrote: The problem is this sort of article will just spur them on more. Its the attention they want, I bet theyre cutting the articles out of the newspaper and keeping them as "trophies". Hopefully someone catches them and just beats the **** out of them, that might help.[/p][/quote]I'll beat the **** out them if I saw them doing anything untoward, people that do this sort of thing are total wasters. WoolstonSean
  • Score: 6

4:08pm Tue 2 Sep 14

WoolstonSean says...

Huey wrote:
Classic arms folded photo, well done echo.
Why has this become the norm now, do we really need to have pictures of people with 'arms crossed'?
[quote][p][bold]Huey[/bold] wrote: Classic arms folded photo, well done echo.[/p][/quote]Why has this become the norm now, do we really need to have pictures of people with 'arms crossed'? WoolstonSean
  • Score: 1

4:15pm Tue 2 Sep 14

stockportchris says...

Huey wrote:
Classic arms folded photo, well done echo.
Perhaps he has his arms folded because his business has been torched, and will cost him money in insurance premiums, dinlo.
[quote][p][bold]Huey[/bold] wrote: Classic arms folded photo, well done echo.[/p][/quote]Perhaps he has his arms folded because his business has been torched, and will cost him money in insurance premiums, dinlo. stockportchris
  • Score: 2

4:17pm Tue 2 Sep 14

mickey01 says...

WoolstonSean wrote:
Huey wrote:
Classic arms folded photo, well done echo.
Why has this become the norm now, do we really need to have pictures of people with 'arms crossed'?
what do you want hands on head maybe
[quote][p][bold]WoolstonSean[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Huey[/bold] wrote: Classic arms folded photo, well done echo.[/p][/quote]Why has this become the norm now, do we really need to have pictures of people with 'arms crossed'?[/p][/quote]what do you want hands on head maybe mickey01
  • Score: 5

2:05pm Wed 3 Sep 14

Bella73 says...

Well total scum bags should be put in a shed on bonfire night as I think arsonists are sick freaks who need a great big lesson
Well total scum bags should be put in a shed on bonfire night as I think arsonists are sick freaks who need a great big lesson Bella73
  • Score: 0

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