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Redditch arson attacks - people's lives are at stake
6:20pm Wednesday 3rd October 2012 in Local
“SOMEONE may die unless the fires stop,” that is the warning from police following a series of arson attacks in Redditch.
Over the last week a number of serious bin fires have happened, the latest being on Sunday, September 30.
A bin in a cupboard adjacent to the front door of a house in Dolben Lane in Winyates West, was set alight at about 9.40pm.
The occupants, a couple in their 20s, who had been in bed, were disturbed by a noise.
The man came down to investigate and opened the front door but was beaten back by the flames.
Seconds later the gas main ignited, causing considerable damage to the front of the house, and the couple escaped through the back door.
Detective Sergeant Adam Hartwright of West Mercia Police said: "Following a series of arson attacks in the area, police warned last week that if they continued, someone was going to die or be badly injured, and we cannot emphasise that strongly enough.
"It was extremely fortunate that the couple who were the latest victims escaped with their lives.
“Had they not been disturbed and come down to investigate, they could have been trapped and this inquiry would now be a double murder investigation.”
He added: "Those responsible may think starting fires is just messing about, a bit of a joke.
“People's lives are at stake here and they have got to stop before there is a tragedy."
Other incidents include a number of bin fires in Sandhurst Close in Church Hill, on Wednesday morning, September 26.
There were two other arson attacks on the same day.
In Sedgley Close a fire was started in a communal area of a block of flats, between 3.15pm and 3.30pm.
And in Heronfield Close a blue BMW car had to be written off after it was set on fire between 9.30 and 9.45pm.
Station Commander Phil Berry from Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service said: "These deliberate incidents put members of the public and our firefighters at risk particularly when there is the potential for an explosion to occur.
"We will continue to work closely with the police and the local council to monitor the situation but I would urge anyone with information on these incidents to report it."
On Sunday evening, three youths aged between 13 and 17 were arrested on suspicion of arson in connection with another bin fire in Dolben Lane, which happened at about 7pm.
They have all been released on police bail.