Arsonists target train in children’s play park

Gildredge Park train fire SUS-140609-215911001
Gildredge Park train fire SUS-140609-215911001
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Arsonists set fire to a 15ft train in a children’s play ground in Eastbourne in the early hours of Friday morning.

The East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service was called to Gildredge Park at around 3am on September 5 to reports of a large fire in the park.

The crew arrived to find a plastic-coated, wooden train engulfed in flames, near the café and with trees nearby.

With no fire hydrants in easy reach, firefighters used a special foam to “knock down” the flames and stop the fire spreading. They then turned hoses on it to finish the job.

A spokesperson for East Sussex Fire and Rescue said, “Eastbourne firefighters were called out to a fire at a children’s play area at The Goffs in the early hours of September 5.

“A crew were mobilised to the park, near Old Town High Street, at 3.09am and used one hose reel, along with 1-in-7 foam, to tackle the fire which destroyed more than £10,000 worth of play equipment.

“Firefighters remained at the incident until 3.47am tackling the blaze and damping down.

“If you have any information leading to the cause of this fire please call Sussex Police or Eastbourne Borough Council Neighbourhood First on 01323 410000.”

The attending crew manager stated the fire could only have been a deliberate ignition.

A spokesperson for Sussex Police said, “At 3.21am on September 5, police were alerted by East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service that a fire had been started in a playground in Eastbourne. The fire had been started in the play area of Gildredge Park.

“Anyone who has any information or witnessed anything suspicious to contact police on 101@sussex.pnn.police.uk quoting serial 128 of 5/9.”

Eastbourne Borough Council also posted a photo of the burnt-out train to their Facebook page, appealing for help finding the culprits responsible for causing £10,000 worth of damage to the park.