Firefighters from Hampshire & Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service have tonight (Wednesday) tackled a fire at Freshwater’s Skate park following what is being described as an arson attack.
Retained firefighters have declared the actions of those involved as ‘foolish and reckless behaviour’ after Freshwater’s fire crew were mobilised to bins and grass alight at the skate park at Moa Place, near School Green Road.
Fire Control mobilised a fire appliance and water carrier from Freshwater Fire Station to the incident, with intense flames and the smell of a burning accelerant greeting the first firefighters on scene.
Crews believe petrol had been used to fuel the fire within the Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA).
Hose reel jets were used to extinguish the fire and dampen down the area.
Besides the grass and bins, damage has also been caused to the MUGA fencing, commonly a steel mesh anti-vandal fence surrounding the park, where the paint had started to bubble and melt from the heat.
It is also said that there was also evidence that an attempt had been made to ignite a separate bin stack around 5 metres from the seat of the fire.
A spokesperson for Friends of Freshwater Fire Station said on Facebook:
“Foolish and reckless behaviour!
“The intensity of the flames and smell from the burning suggested an accelerant such as petrol had been used to start the fire.
“This really is foolish and highly dangerous behaviour that spoils the areas created for our young people to enjoy.
“If anyone has information about this incident please contact our local neighbourhood police team.”
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Police have been made aware of the incident and anyone with information are urged to contact Police on 101 or contact Crimestoppers.
Island Echo has approached Hampshire Constabulary for a statement.