East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service is working closely with Sussex Police to reduce the number of deliberate fires following a spate of them over the past couple of days.
Arson and deliberate fires are a serious problem for the Fire Service, the Police and the Ambulance Service. They endanger lives and divert valuable resources.
Arson is a criminal offence that can lead to loss of life and injury. It can damage property and have a negative effect on the environment. Arson often starts with a fascination for fire and progresses to lighting small fires but this can quickly escalate onto skips, cars, derelict properties and most disturbingly people's homes.
We continuously work in partnership with Sussex Police, Crimestoppers, local authorities and neighbourhood watch schemes to reduce incidents such as these.
We are working hard to ensure that the county is a safe place to live, work and visit and would like residents to help us.
In the early hours of yesterday morning (19 October) crews were sent to the following separate incidents in Hastings which we believe to have been deliberately started:
- 2.14am firefighters used one hose reel jet to tackle a motorcycle and scooter fire in Cinque Ports Way, St Leonards.
- 2.34am a crew were sent to Marina, St Leonards, where they used one hose reel jet to extinguish a motorcycle fire.
- 2.42am a crew were mobilised to Warrior Square Gardens, Warrior Square, where they extinguished two motorcycle fires and one car fire using one hose reel jet.
- 2.47am firefighters were sent to Warrior Gardens, St Leonards, where a bin fire was reported. The crew made the area safe.
- 2.54am a crew tackled one motorcycle fire using one hose reel jet in Kenilworth Road, St Leonards.
- 3.02am firefighters were sent to Silchester Road, St Leonards, where they extinguished a motorcycle fire using one hose reel jet.
In the early hours of this morning (20 October) crews were sent to a number of, what is believed to be, unrelated incidents in Bexhill:
- 0.59am a crew were sent to a bin fire in Ninfield Road, Bexhill.
- 1.03am firefighters mobilised to a van fire in Glovers Lane, Bexhill, where they wore breathing apparatus and used one hose reel jet to extinguish the fire.
- 1.12am a crew were sent to a small bush fire in the open in Wrestwood Road, Bexhill, where they used one hose reel jet to prevent fire spreading.
- 1.22am two appliances were sent to St James Avenue, Bexhill, where they used one hose reel jet to tackle a bin store fire.
Station Manager Kate Sands said: “A Fire Investigation into all these incidents has been carried out for both the Hastings and Bexhill incidents and we are currently working closely with Sussex Police.
“Crews in Hastings and Bexhill have completed targeted ‘quick strikes’ which involves co-ordinated community engagement with local residents in a bid to increase fire safety awareness. Home Safety Visits were carried out in the affected areas to provide reassurance for residents in the vicinity.
“We would like to remind the public that arson is a crime and that if you see anything, to report it immediately to Sussex Police.”
For practical advice on how you can play your part in combating arson, please visit: www.esfrs.org/arson
Report suspicious behaviour to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or contact Sussex Police on 101 with information. (Always call 999 in an emergency.)
Sussex Police Need Your Assistance
A man has been arrested in connection with a spate of motorcycle fires in St Leonards.
Police are investigating the five separate incidents as arson. Each bike was destroyed, and the fires were extinguished by East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service.
The incidents occurred in the Warrior Square area between approximately 2am and 3am on Monday 19 October, and enquiries led to the arrest of a man nearby shortly afterwards.
A 26-year-old man from Bexhill, arrested on suspicion of arson, has been released on conditional bail until 15 November, pending further enquiries.
Investigations are ongoing, and police are urging anyone with any information about the series of arsons – particularly anyone with CCTV in the area – to report it online or call 101, quoting serial 81 of 19/10.