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Concerns as village plagued by fires

 Published on: 18th July 2018   |   By: Jason Allen   |   Category: Uncategorized

Chorleywood has become a hot bed of unwelcome fires in the last month, with some of them reportedly being started deliberately.

On July 6, Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service was called to Chorleywood Common after a fire was started by a group of youths in some bushes.

Eyewitnesses have said the youngsters were seen throwing nitrous oxide (laughing gas) cannisters into the fire, with the aim of trying to cause an explosion.

A spokesperson from Herts Fire and Rescue said: “The fire service was called out to Chorleywood Common at 9.44pm on July 6 to attend to a small fire in the open affecting trees. One crew extinguished the fire with hose reels. The fire was listed as deliberate.” 

A Herts Police spokesperson said: “We were called at 9.44pm on Friday, July 6 to reports of a fire in Chorleywood Common. Officers are investigating the incident as a suspected arson. 

“Anyone who saw what happened, or has any other information, should contact Hertfordshire Constabulary on the non-emergency number 101, quoting crime reference 41/17126/18.”

Residents and councillors have repeatedly warned of the dangers of these fires, especially during the recent dry period in the hot weather, as the fire brigade had to be called out twice in one week and a series of fires were taking place in the warm July evenings.

Three Rivers District Councillor Phil Williams, who represents Chorleywood South and Maple Cross, said: “We’ve all got to be vigilant following these fires, and unfortunately people don’t seem to realise the consequences of their actions.

“It is an extremely dangerous thing to happen, and when we have dry periods like this, people need to be more careful.”

Fellow district councillor Angela Killick said: “One of the fires on the Common was clearly started deliberately in the greenery under the trees so it would link up and perhaps spread further. 

“As soon as I saw the fire, I dialled 999 and the firemen didn’t waste any time in getting over. It was a matter of minutes before they cut the heavy duty padlock on the gates and tackled the blaze. I was very impressed.

“While I was out picking up litter, I stumbled across a dozen nitrous oxide cannisters and picked them up.”

Nearly two weeks later there was another fire near The Old Shepherd pub which was put out very quickly.

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