St Neots breakdown recovery firm to ‘return to normal’ after arson attack

07:00 09 April 2014

Arson attack at Enfield Autos, St Neots,

Arson attack at Enfield Autos, St Neots,

Archant

Arsonists set fire to two lorries and three cars at an Eynesbury breakdown ­recovery firm.

Firefighters from St Neots and Gamlingay went to Enfield Auto Recovery, in Levellers Lane, at 5.30am on Saturday, to find the five vehicles alight.

They extinguished the flames and cleared smoke as staff at the company, who had been called by the fire service, watched in shock.

Sarah Ray, marketing co-ordinator at the company, told The Hunts Post: “There was lots of smoke and the heat was quite intense from the fire. Luckily, it didn’t damage the building but it has damaged the windows.

“It’s obviously very sad that someone could do something like that but we’re thankful no one got hurt.”

Although she could not give an ­estimate of the cost of damage to the vehicles, which were owned by the company, she said they were older ones, including a Renault Clio, Toyota Yaris and a VW Golf Mk2.

She said: “We can continue to carry out a normal service, which is lucky. There was some clearing up to do but the fire predominantly involved the vehicles, so there wasn’t too much damage.

“We want to thank the fire brigade for their quick response and efficient service.”

Just a few hours earlier, at 12.26am, a car was set alight in Simpkin Close, Eaton Socon. One fire crew from St Neots and one from Kimbolton were called to the scene, where the flames had spread to a garage.

The blaze caused superficial damage to a nearby bungalow.

Police are not linking the incidents.

Figures show that although there have been three deliberate fires – one of which was a vehicle fire – in the St Neots area in the last week, the number of arson attacks has dropped compared with previous years.

Police also stressed that there was no pattern or significant peak in the crime.

Police figures, which differ slightly from those given by the fire service because of the way the crimes are ­classified, show there were nine arsons between April 1, 2013 and March 31 2014, compared with 16 the previous year.

During the same period, the fire ­service recorded 14 deliberate fires, four of which were vehicle fires. There were 18 arson attacks the year before and just one involving a vehicle.

Paul Clarke, station commander at St Neots fire station, said: “Overall, ­deliberate fires are down in St Neots over the past two years.

“We always investigate a deliberate fire to see if there are trends and while there is a small increase in deliberate vehicle fires in the area we have not been able to identify any trends.”

To help police, dial 101 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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