Arsonists destroy Huntingdon school’s memorial to four-year-old
ARSONISTS have burned down a children’s play-house that was built at a Huntingdon school as a memorial to a four-year-old boy.
The wooden structure had been built and donated to Thongsley Fields Primary School by the parents of Mohammed Ahmed, who died suddenly from a rare heart condition in 2006.
Now all that remain are the charred foundations and blackened stilts of what was affectionately known by the pupils as ‘Mohammed’s House’.
Firefighters, who believe the fire was started deliberately, were alerted to the blaze at 6.50am on Monday (April 25) by Michael Morrow whose property overlooks the school in Buttsgrove Way.
He was at his kitchen window when he noticed smoke coming from the school grounds.
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“I was in the kitchen and heard a type of crackling coming from outside – I thought at first it was rain,” Mr Morrow, of Thongsley Road, told The Hunts Post. “As soon as I opened the kitchen door I saw smoke coming from the playhouse.
“I called the fire brigade and ran round to the caretaker’s house to wake him up.”
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Mr Morrow also directed firefighters through a side gate so they could tackle the fire.
Headteacher Rachel Myer said: “Mohammed’s favourite thing in the world was to play in his playhouse, so after he died his family built one and donated it to the school,” she told The Hunts Post. “His family wanted other little children to be able to enjoy the same kind of fun as Mohammed did before he died.
“We’ve had other acts of minor vandalism, and were even considering moving the house elsewhere in the school grounds.
“The people who are going to suffer from this pointless act are the very young children who come to the school and the future generations.”
Mohammed’s parents Rahila and Rukhsar Ahmed, of Richmond Close, Huntingdon, said the fire had taken from them a memorial of Mohammed.
“Every time I looked at Mohammed’s house it reminded me of my son,” Rahila told The Hunts Post. “Somebody has to be really cruel to do this.”
Martin Boome, station manager for Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Arsonists put lives at risk, including their own, when they start a fire. However, potential arsonists should also bear in mind the personal consequences of a fire, which can be devastating, particularly in this case.
“Summer is around the corner and the weather is hotting up, which can lead to an increase in arson. I would advise all parents to make sure their children are aware of the consequences of playing with fire.”
INFORMATION: Anyone with information on the fire should contact Cambridgeshire police on 0345 456 4564, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.