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'It could be our home next': Family too scared to sleep after six-week arson attack spate

PUBLISHED: 13:23 01 July 2019 | UPDATED: 13:45 01 July 2019

Firefighters working to extinguish a car targeted by arsonists on Appleyard Crescent. Photo: Submitted

Firefighters working to extinguish a car targeted by arsonists on Appleyard Crescent. Photo: Submitted

Archant

A mother-of-three has said she is too scared to sleep after a spate of arson attacks on a quiet residential street in Norwich, which saw her child's summer house torched.

Firefighters checking a smoke filled summer house on Appleyard Crescent in Hellesdon. Photo: SubmittedFirefighters checking a smoke filled summer house on Appleyard Crescent in Hellesdon. Photo: Submitted

Emma Carrgilson said she and her neighbours on Appleyard Crescent in Mile Cross were living in constant fear following six weeks of arson attacks targeting bins, cars and now the summer house.

On Sunday, June 23, the Hellesdon mother was woken by a car alarm activating.

Looking outside she discovered her neighbour's Hyundai Getz engulfed in flames, and its owner on 
the phone to emergency services.

Firefighters from Sprowston used hose reel jets to extinguish the blaze, but as they were about to leave the neighbour alerted them to a second fire in Mrs Carrgilson's garden.

The car targeted by arsonists on Appleyard Crescent, Hellesdon. Photo: SubmittedThe car targeted by arsonists on Appleyard Crescent, Hellesdon. Photo: Submitted

She said: "We looked outside and saw our summer house up in smoke.

"It's terrifying because the kids were meant to be sleeping out there that night.

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"I feel like we're being targeted and I don't know why."

The arsonists started the blaze by throwing piles of branches and toilet paper over the family's fence from a neighbouring alleyway.

Police said the fires were likely to be linked and were being treated as arson.

Mrs Carrgilson said there had been three further fires, in which she and two other neighbours had their bins set alight. She said a fire had been started at around 5am every Sunday since June 2.

The repeated attacks are taking their toll on the whole family.

She said: "The fires are getting more and more serious and we have no idea who is behind them. My children can't sleep and all of us are waking up in the night afraid of what will be targeted next. It could be our home next time."

The fire service has visited homes on Appleyard Crescent to check people's smoke alarms and has delivered written warnings about the attacks.

Mrs Carrgilson said many people on the street had also installed CCTV as deterrent to the attackers.

She added: "Whoever is doing this is doing it maliciously. It's more than kids trying to have a bit of fun. It needs to stop."

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