Arson fire at abandoned dumping ground in Hapton “could have been a lot worse” according to neighbour
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A suspected arson attack which ripped through a rural Norfolk property filled with disused vehicles, old furniture and equipment 'could have been much worse', according to a neighbour.
Police are now investigating the blaze on a piece of land off Cow lane in Hapton, a village near Long Stratton.
Sue Wardale, who lives nearby, called 999 after she was alerted about the fire on Monday around 10.20pm.
She said: 'Somebody knocked on my window and said there was a fire blazing, so I called 999.
'The gateway (to the property) has been blocked for a good few years.'
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Fire crews from Long Stratton, Carrow and Hethersett responded to the call, and after putting the fire out, left the scene at 1.45am on Tuesday morning.
Police were also called to the scene, and a spokesman said the incident was being treated as arson as two different 'seats' or starting points for the fire had been identified.
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The spokesman said the incident had been classed as an 'arson not endangering life' as nobody had been nearby.
He said: 'Due to being a vehicle fire it was intense.
'We are treating the fire as arson and are appealing to any witnesses to get in contact.'
Ms Wardale said the land was owned by a man who did not live in the village and had not been seen there for several years.
She said there were 'eight to 10' vehicles on the property, which is near Hapton Primary School.
The vehicles include caravans, a small lorry and vans, and other items dumped there include old hoovers, a stereo, sets of metal shelves and assorted pieces of furniture.
Ms Wardale said the fire could have been more severe, as the property has a large tree and a hedge on its fence line, but the tree was only scorched by the flames.
She said: 'I thought the tree and the hedge could have gone up.
'It is a bit worrying.
'There was a horse in the next-door field but it was fine.'
Ms Wardale said the fire service responded quickly to the blaze.
She said it was not the first fire which had occurred at the abandoned site.
Anyone with information about the incident should call Norfolk Police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously on 0800 555 111