Officers investigating Blyth beach huts and vehicle fires are treating them as suspected arson

A series of fires put out overnight in Blyth, including three beach huts, are being treated as suspected arson.

Friday, 17th January 2020, 12:29 pm
Crews tackled a fire at Blyth beach huts. Photo: Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service

At around 11.15pm on Thursday, January 16, police officers were contacted by the Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service to reports that a number of beach huts had been set on fire.

Two crews from West Hartford Fire Station in Cramlington were called to the scene where three beach huts were alight and fire fighters worked to extinguish the blaze. One hut has been severely destroyed.

Then, at 1.44am on Thursday, January 17, crews dealt with a vehicle fire on Wellesley Drive, Blyth and at around 2am, fire fighters were also called to a van fire on Grenville Road in Blyth. Thankfully, nobody was injured.

Blyth Beach huts are an iconic part of Northumberland.

A spokeswoman for Northumberland Fire and Rescue service said: “Our fire investigations team are at the scene and Northumbria Police have been informed.”

Police have confirmed they are now treating the cause of the fires as “suspected arson” and are linking the individual incidents.

On Friday, January 17, Inspector Neil Hall condemned the behaviour of those involved and says officers are now committed to identifying the offenders.

He added: “The events of last night and the behaviour of those responsible were absolutely appalling and totally unacceptable.

Three of the beach huts in Blyth were involved in a fire. Photo: Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service

“We take reports of this kind incredibly seriously, and we acknowledge the significant effect that this can have on not only victims but the community as a whole.

“As a result, we are committed to ensuring anybody found to have been involved is dealt with swiftly and robustly.

“A team of experienced officers will be carrying out a range of enquiries throughout today to establish exactly what has happened, and anyone responsible can expect a knock on their door.

“With the nature of the fires, it is incredibly lucky that nobody was seriously injured. The public will see an increased police presence in the town today as officers carry out enquiries and offer any reassurance.”

One of the beach huts has been severely destroyed. Photo: Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service

The council has also condemned such behaviour.

Cllr Cath Homer, Northumberland County Council’s cabinet member with responsibility for culture, leisure and tourism, said: “This is a senseless act of vandalism which has caused dismay and distress within the town overnight and this morning.

“Thankfully it appears to be a random and isolated incident that certainly doesn’t reflect the wider community in Blyth.

“The beach huts are an iconic feature of the town and our county, and much loved by residents and visitors alike, and we’ll work to restore the beach huts as a matter of urgency.

Officers are investigating the incidents and are linking them as 'suspected arson.'

“Tourism is growing in the area, which many of the local businesses rely on. This is such a shame given the resurgence of Blyth, and the investment that’s going into the town.

“Our fire service was quick to respond, and reassured we are working with the police and partners to bring those responsible to justice.”

Witnesses or anybody who saw anything suspicious in the area last night are urged to call 101 quoting 1125 160120 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.