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Worry over number of Dereham arsons

PUBLISHED: 18:19 18 June 2006 | UPDATED: 11:02 22 October 2010

IAN CLARKE

The worrying trend of arson attacks on derelict buildings in Dereham has intensified with a senior fire officer warning of “a disaster waiting to happen.

The worrying trend of arson attacks on derelict buildings in Dereham has intensified with a senior fire officer warning of “a disaster waiting to happen.”

Two crews spent nearly two hours at two boarded up houses on land off Norwich Road late on Friday night.

It is thought youths - who have been using the building up the lane next to the railway station and the past the CMC showroom as a “hang out” - set fire to stairs.

The blaze was intense and firefighters using thermal imaging cameras did a check of the building to ensure no-one was trapped inside.

It followed the latest in a series of fires on Wednesday night at the old Jentique factory and there have also been arson attacks on the empty Old Guildhall.

Dereham-based station manager Mark Richardson described the incidents as “disasters waiting to happen” and is to write a report to senior officials asking for more pressure to be put on the owners of the empty buildings for action to be taken.

He said security had to be improved.

People in the Norwich Road area saw smoke and flames from the buildings and eye witnesses reported a group of youths with hoods on running away.

Barbara Luxton, who lives nearby, said she had heard football-style chants and saw the “red glow” from the building.

She said there was a lot of worry locally about the arson attack.

Anyone with information on the incidents should contact Dereham Police via 0845 4564567.


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