Suspected arson attack on home

Emergency services at the scene
Emergency services at the scene
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POLICE are appealing for witnesses after a suspected arson attack at a house in Shinewater on Thursday (February 21).

Flames ripped through the home on the corner of Milfoil Drive and Ranworth Close, causing extensive damage to the house.

Police and fire crews were called at around 11am as the fire, which started in the first-floor back bedroom of the two-storey terrace house, took hold.

Eye witnesses told the Gazette they saw the bedroom window explode as thick smoke filled the sky.

The Gazette understands the woman, who lives at the property with her two children, was out collecting the youngsters from the children’s centre opposite her home when the flames took hold. No-one was injured in the fire.

The alarm was raised when members of the public made numerous 999 calls after hearing a dog barking in the burning property.

A neighbour told the Gazette a dog was rescued from the blaze and collected by the dog warden.

East Sussex Fire and Rescue said the property was fitted with working smoke alarms, which were activated during the fire.

Neighbour Gary Griffith said, “I was asleep on the couch and I heard this crackling noise like fire. I didn’t take much notice at first but then the dog started going a bit mad and I looked out and realised what had happened.

“I went out the front and saw people across the road gathering.

“There was lots of smoke.”

Firefighters used one hose reel and breathing apparatus to tackle the severe fire. A ventilation fan was also used to blow smoke from the property, once the flames had been put out.

Police cordoned-off the area around the house and the fire service’s fire investigation dog attended the scene on Thursday afternoon and Friday morning to help determine the cause of the blaze.

Police are now appealing for information and are asking any witnesses to call Sussex Police on 0845 60 70 999, quoting serial 601 of February 17.

Alternatively, independent charity Crimestoppers can be contacted free and anonymously on 0800 555 111.