FULL STORY: A trail of destruction has been left in Newport overnight after at least four cars were set alight, destroying a range of vehicles and leaving holiday makers stranded.
Fire crews from Newport were called to the scene at 02:00 this morning (Saturday) after receiving reports of a number of vehicles alight in a fire inferno in Drill Hall Road’s public car park.
While emergency services dealt with the incident before them, a further 3 vehicles were set on fire in nearby Alexandra Lane in the town.
Witnesses have described hearing loud bangs in the early hours, awakening them from their sleep.
A Mini Cooper Clubman, a Vauxhall Astra, a Renault Megane and a Renault Scenic have all suffered serious, irreparable fire damage alongside two other vehicles.
Speaking to Island Echo about their ordeal, a family on holiday to the Island from the Midlands described how the arson attack has left them without transport, possessions and has left their holiday in tatters on what was their first day visiting the Isle of Wight.
Two other holidaying families were effected. All are staying in Newport’s Travelodge hotel.
Residents in Alexandra Lane were asked to vacate their properties by Police as fears grew that an electrical sub-station could become engulfed by the blaze, causing an explosion.
Firefighters using breathing apparatus extinguished the multiple fires, before crews left the scene and destruction behind at around 03:30.
Forensic officers from Hampshire Constabulary have this afternoon been examining the individual vehicles involved to try and piece together a timeline of events and to secure evidence. Meanwhile, officers have been carrying out door to door enquiries.
A 17-year-old male has been arrested and is being held in custody at Newport Police Station.
A motorcycle parked in Lugley Street had fuel and coolant lines stolen. The theft is believed to be connected to the spate of fires.
ANYONE with any information, who witnessed or found anything suspicious in the vicinity of the crime, or has had damage to their vehicle or property in the area, are asked to contact DC Vici Hayward at Newport Police Station on 101 or calling Crimestoppers charity anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Photographs by Island Echo photographer Daniel Poole. Fire photograph: Leif Marriner.