FIREFIGHTERS have slammed arsonists following a spate of “needless” incidents across Southampton.

Over the weekend a shed in Thornhill Avenue was burnt to the ground leaving residents “devastated and fearing for their safety”.

Meanwhile, on May 19 a garage in Douglas Crescent, Bitterne was completely destroyed after a blaze broke out early in the morning.

A fence and the eaves of a nearby property were also damaged by the fire.

A bin on the driveway of a home in Upper Deacon Road was set ablaze at around 4.40am on the same date.

There have been five separate incidents where sheds and garages have been set alight in recent weeks.

According to Hampshire Fire and Rescue Services, this puts a strain on firefighters meaning they are less able to deal with more serious and life-threatening call-outs.

A spokesperson for Hampshire Fire and Rescue Services said: “There have been five incidents involving garages and sheds in the Thornhill area since April 29 to date. The last being on May 30 in Thornhill Avenue, which was a garden shed,

“The demands placed upon the fire service in dealing with these kinds of needless incidents means additional resources may have to be brought in to the local area to tackle other incidents nearby. These incidents may be more serious, perhaps even life-threatening. We encourage all Thornhill residents to be aware and report any suspicious behaviours to the police immediately by calling 101 or 999.”

Meanwhile, the police report to be investigating the spate of attacks.

Posting on social media a force spokesperson said: “We are currently investigating a series of incidents in the Thornhill Park area, where sheds and garages have been set alight. We are also speaking with the local Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service. If anyone has any information relating to the incident in Thornhill Avenue please call 101 or Crimestoppers and quote reference number 44200192472.”