Double arson attack shock as explosion rocks a St Neots street

A fire officer inspects the damage in Viscount Court.

A fire officer inspects the damage in Viscount Court. - Credit: Archant

Residents have spoken of their shock at hearing explosions after arsonists struck twice in a residential street in St Neots.

Firefighters were called to Viscount Court, Eaton Socon, in the early hours of both Saturday and Monday, when the same car was set on fire.

One neighbour, who has lived nearby for 40 years but did not want to be named, said he was disturbed at about 2.20am on Monday.

“The first thing was a very large bang – an explosion which I thought was a car crashing at the top of the street on the A1, into the crash barriers.

“It was followed by two or three other explosions. I thought it sounded like gun shots.

“I looked out of the window and it was blazing away. The whole car was on fire, it was completely going.

“It was frightening because there are other cars parked in the street and there was a car parked right opposite. I thought if that catches fire then maybe other cars in the street will catch fire.

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“It is unusual, especially in a family street like this.”

He added that he was concerned about the recent removal of street lights, suggesting it made it easier for offenders to escape in the “rabbit warren” of alleyways in the area.

Firefighters were first called to the vehicle in Viscount Court at 1.49am on Saturday (September 6), and put out the flames.

At about 2.20am on Monday (September 8), arsonists attacked the same car, and a second car was damaged by the heat, which also melted several wheelie bins.

A police spokesman said that somebody was seen running away, but the caller could not give a description.

Scenes of crime officers (SOCO) carried out an investigation, while fire officers with dogs were drafted in from Northamptonshire to help search for clues the following day.

Another resident, who also did not wish to be named, told The Hunts Post: “This is the first time it has happened in 39 years – I’ve never seen anything like it. I was so frightened.”

INFORMATION: Anyone who can help the investigation should call police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.