Man stops breathing in arson attack

ARSONISTS left a 66-year-old man fighting for his life in hospital after they torched his car. Pensioner Brian Crouch had to be resuscitated by firefighters after he collapsed outside his home as he tried to tackle the fire with a garden hose and protect

ARSONISTS left a 66-year-old man fighting for his life in hospital after they torched his car.

Pensioner Brian Crouch had to be resuscitated by firefighters after he collapsed outside his home as he tried to tackle the fire with a garden hose and protect his house in Humberdale Way, Warboys.

Yesterday (Tuesday), Mr Crouch was recovering in Hinchingbrooke Hospital after six days in intensive care.

He was believed to have collapsed in a neighbour's front garden as he attempted to extinguish the fire and stop it from spreading to his home.


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An oil tank for the house was said to be about a metre from the car, a silver Peugeot 806, when the fire was started at about 6.20pm last Wednesday (November 14).

Sean Brown, Cambridgeshire fire investigation officer, said: "The man's condition deteriorated and he stopped breathing. The firefighters from Ramsey had to bring him back to life."

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Scorch marks remain where the car was parked and the nearby garage has been damaged.

Police believe arsonists caused the blaze, and it is not the first time they have struck in the village.

Councillor Stephen Kessel, chairman of Warboys Parish Council, told The Hunts Post the attack had left residents and councillors feeling very concerned.

"You do not expect to see arson attacks in a small village and it has concerned a lot of people," he said. "It is anti-social behaviour going to the extreme. It is a horrible thing that happened to this man and our thoughts are with his family.

"It happened on a congested road and it would not have been that easy to make a quick getaway. Hopefully the police will catch the culprits."

He added the parish council had raised concern about car fires at a neighbourhood policing meeting last week.

Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service figures for the last two months show two other deliberate car fires in Warboys - one in Puddock Hill on November 2 and the other the following day in Flaxen Walk. Between April 2006 and March 2007, there were 55 deliberate vehicle fires in Huntingdonshire. So far this year there have been 45.

INFORMATION: Contact Det Sgt Carl Anderson on 0845 4564564, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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