Garden sheds burned to ground by arsonists

Fire at sheds in Devenport Way area of Chorley.

Fire at sheds in Devenport Way area of Chorley.

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Police are hunting arsonists who destroyed three garden sheds and a large number of fence panels at houses in Chorley.

Residents were awakened in the early hours last Friday to discover flames shooting into the air in their back gardens.

The attack took place on homes in the Devonport Way, Chatam Place and Portsmouth Drive area.

Police says they are treating the incident as arson.

Lynn Williams, 52, of Chatam Place, and her family were in bed at the time.

“My son woke me up about 2.30am and said ‘look mum, there are sheds on fire in the corner.’

“The dogs had run into his bedroom and jumped on his bed. They heard a bang and were scared.

“He saw the flames through the bedroom window. I phoned the fire brigade straight away.

“They came through the entry here and set up the lights and it took them quite a while to put the sheds out. When the fire started, something exploded in the shed. A lot of people said they heard this bang.

“It was scary, you don’t realise how quickly it could spread.

“The wind must have been coming in our direction.

“Someone had reported seeing two youths. An old lady had just come back from hospital late and heard a bang and saw these youths running up the road.”

A section of the Williams’ back garden fencing was

destroyed.

James McAllister, 52, of Devonport Way, was another victim the fire.

He said: “I was at work. My daughter phoned me to tell what had happened.

“The shed is completely burned, so is the back fencing. My back door’s warped and so are the upstairs uPVC windows.”

Two fire appliances spent around one hour tackling the blaze.

A spokesman for Lancashire Fire and Rescue said: “At this moment in time the fire is being treated as suspicious. We are working with the police to identify the cause.”

Lancashire Police said they received the emergency call at 2.31am.