'Mindless' Weston-super-Mare arson attack risked lives

PUBLISHED: 12:50 24 August 2016 | UPDATED: 12:50 24 August 2016

Trees on fire in Summerlands which damaged a property in Holland Street.

Trees on fire in Summerlands which damaged a property in Holland Street.


A couple's lives were put at risk by a group of 'mindless vandals' who committed arson in Weston.

Judith Groves, aged 49, and her husband Richard Groves, aged 41, were asleep in their home in Holland Street on August 8. But, at around 5.50am, they were woken by worried neighbours who had spotted flames at the back of their house.

Judith said: “They heard people outside and then saw the flames. There are really tall trees at the back of our house and they went up within seconds, the flames and the ash were hitting the house and we just had to get out, it was really frightening.”

Police are investigating the fire and believe youths used petrol to set fire to the trees in Summerlands.

Judith said: “It was a huge fire. Luckily we live right by the fire station so they were here quickly.”

The fire damaged the couple’s fence, garden, and bedroom window.

Judith said: “These people might have thought it was a bit of fun, but they risked our lives. They don’t understand how quickly flames go up and destroy everything in their path.

“It’s a very dangerous game these people are playing.”

The couple have lived in Holland Street for 12 years and Judith described it as a ‘quiet and friendly’ area.

She added: “We just don’t know who did it, there is no reason other than mindless vandalism. I’m just thankful our house is safe, because for a minute it looked like a different story.”

Police have launched an appeal and anyone with information should contact police on 101 and quote 52161 75016.

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