Residents in shock after arson attacks

RESIDENTS have spoken of their shock after arsonists left a trail of destruction in a quiet market town – setting fire to six cars and two skips.

The night of crime, which also included a break-in at a local bakery, unfolded in the early hours of Saturday morning in Framlingham.

Police arrested two men soon after the town was besieged by an indiscriminate spate of crimes which struck elderly people, youngsters and families.

The trail of destruction started at Thomas Mills High School where, at about 2am, a car was set alight.

Police believe arsonists then moved on to King’s Avenue and Pembroke Road where two skips were found alight by firefighters.

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A fire crew from the town had to call in support from Debenham, Stradbroke and Saxmundham when it was discovered five more cars had been set alight in Mount Pleasant and Danforth Drive.

Max Taylor’s family saloon was destroyed by fire at about 3.50am. The 40-year-old Mount Pleasant resident said: “I heard what sounded like a car horn and looked out to see flames coming from the bonnet of my car.

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“I phoned for help and learned there were already fires in the area and by the time I got out to the car, a fire crew was already there.

“There’s not much you can say – it comes as a shock to see your car on fire. And it’s not something you expect in Framlingham.

“The most important thing is that only property was damaged and no-one was hurt.”

Angela Meadows and daughter Martina were also woken by the sound of a car horn before realising cars were ablaze on both sides of their home but that their cars were fortunately undamaged.

Angela said: “We all hurried outside to find three cars on fire. It was all a bit frightening and it happened so close to people’s houses.”

Two of the cars on fire beside the Meadows’ house belonged to neighbour George Dickinson and his son Tim but neither was aware of the damage until several hours later.

Mr Dickinson, a former firefighter, said: “I heard the brigade outside but thought nothing of it until I went out walking the dogs and a police officer was looking for the owner of two cars that had been set on fire.

“It was a shock. I’ve lived here for 20 years and apart from the odd pub scuffle it’s a lovely place to live.”

Another car, belonging to an elderly woman living next door to the Dickinsons, was also destroyed by fire but the owner was too upset to comment about the arson attack.

While firefighters were dealing with the blazes, Reads bakery in Bridge Street was broken into just before 3.20am.

A Suffolk police spokesman said two men had been arrested on suspicion of arson and burglary in connection with the incidents.

A 21-year-old man from Framlingham was in custody at Ipswich police station, while a 20-year-old man, believed to be from the Wickham Market area, was being detained at Lowestoft police station.

Elsewhere, on the same morning, two cars were set alight in King’s Way, Ipswich, over a period of four hours. Fire crews were called at 12.50am and just before 4.50am.

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