Hastings residents ‘living in fear’ of arson attacks

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A Hastings resident said she and her neighbours are ‘living in fear’ after a series of arson attacks.

Emma Hanks, 31, lives in Quantock Gardens with her two children, who are aged six and 11.

In the last week, she said both of their communal bins have been set on fire in the middle of the night, sparking emergency responses from the fire service.

She said there have been at least three more fires in Mendip Gardens, another two behind the shops and four fires at the former Mount Denys care home on The Ridge in the past month.

She added: “Everyone is living in fear down there.

“We don’t initially know what is going to happen and we’re worried about what’s going to happen next.

“All these fires must be linked. We only live down the road from Mount Denys and they’re all happening at the same time.

“The first time our bin was set on fire was 3.20am on Saturday morning and then I called the fire service the next morning at 3.16am because the bin opposite was on fire.

“People are living in fear. It’s not just me but the whole of Quantock Gardens.”

The past month has been a busy time for firefighters in Hastings and St Leonards.

According to East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, firefighters were sent to two motorcycle fires in adjoining roads – St Margarets Terrace and Magdalen Road, St Leonards – between 2.44am and 3.40am on Thursday (June 6).

In the same morning, they were sent to tackle two bin fires – one in Hastings Country Park and the other in St Margarets Road, St Leonards.

At the end of May, firefighters were sent to fire separate fires in Farley Bank, Hastings, in less than 30 hours. The first fire broke out 7.45pm on Sunday (May 26) with the fifth call out at 12.16am on May 28.

During this time, four fires have broken out at the derelict former Mount Denys care home, The Ridge, Hastings.

After the final fire on Thursday, May 30, East Sussex County Council – the owner of the building – took the decision to the knock the building down after five years of it being left empty.

Related stories:

Owner of Hastings care home speaks out after fourth fire in a month

Hastings firefighters tackle motorcycle blazes

Fire service called to five incidents in same Hastings road in 30 hours