Arsonists attack six cars in Melton in a 40-minute rampage

A Peugeot 206 damaged in Drummond Walk during the weekend's arson attacks on the Fairmead Estate in Melton EMN-170307-142847001
A Peugeot 206 damaged in Drummond Walk during the weekend's arson attacks on the Fairmead Estate in Melton EMN-170307-142847001

Police are investigating after arsonists went on the rampage in Melton and damaged six vehicles in a 40-minute period.

Firefighters say there were three separate incidents with two of the blazes being started as they fought to put out another one.

All the attacks took place in the early hours of Saturday on the Fairmead Estate.

Paula Knight and her daughter had their vehicles - a Peugeot 206 and a Vauxhall Corsa - destroyed in the attacks as they were parked outside their home in Drummond Walk.

Mrs Knight said: “The fire woke us up at 4 in the morning.

“It was only a foot away from the house so it could have been a lot more serious.

“My car was burned out and my daughter’s was a complete write-off.

“I was told they used an accelerant to set my car alight so I was lucky it caught fire. “Otherwise it would have gone up when I turned the engine on and I wouldn’t be here now.”

Mrs Knight, part of the catering team at Melton Hospital, said she and her daughter, who works at the Defence Animal Centre, had to be at work at 5.30am so had to arrange lifts.

She added: “People are fed up with this sort of thing happening on the estate.

“We want the council to put CCTV in so they can catch whoever is doing it.”

Incident commander Scott Smith led two crews from Melton in tackling the fires, with the first being started at 3.31am.

He told the Melton Times: “We were called to a fire involving a BMW X5 on Dieppe Way.

“On arrival we found the vehicle well alight and we used two breathing apparatus and a hose reel jet to extinguish the car. A

second car suffered some heat damage.

“Whilst making up our equipment we were radioed by our control centre of a second incident, at 4.07, which was located on Drummond Walk, approximately 50 yards from where we were.

“Firefighters quickly donned their breathing apparatus again and we found two cars well alight this time and a third nearby car suffering heat damage.”

Firefighter Smith said a call was then made for a second crew to attend the scene because of fears the initial crew would run out of

water. Police were also alerted at this stage because arson was suspected.

He said: “Whilst firefighters were fighting the second blaze and awaiting assistance from the town’s other fire engine, another car was set alight on the opposite side of the street, again on Drummond Walk.

“I believe this vehicle was set on fire whilst we were dealing with the second incident.

“Firefighters quickly extinguished the third fire before significant damage was caused but a total of six cars were damaged in a 40-minute spree.

“All the fires are being treated as deliberate and the police are now dealing with this.”

A spokesperson for Leicestershire Police said: “Officers were called to Dieppe Way and nearby Drummond Walk at 4.30am after receiving a report of the damage.

“Officers are carrying out a number of enquiries to ascertain who was responsible for the damage.

“We would like to hear from witnesses who saw anyone acting suspiciously in the area at around this time or who have any information to assist with our investigation.”

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 and quote incident 91 of 1 July.