Can­cer char­ity store wrecked by ar­son­ists

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - News - By KIRSTEN BEACOCK

A CHAR­ITY which has helped thou­sands of can­cer suf­fer­ers across the Peter­bor­ough area is fac­ing a £10,000 loss af­ter an ar­son at­tack.

The Crow­land Can­cer Fund’s ware­house, on Crease Drove, Crow­land, which houses sec­ond-hand fur­ni­ture and do­nated items to be sold on, was torched on Sun­day evening.

A lean-to out­build­ing was left a charred wreck with items stored in there – in­clud­ing com­modes and zim­mer frames – melted due to the heat. Items in the main build­ing were left heav­ily smoke dam­aged.

Emer­gency ser­vices were alerted at 6.23pm af­ter a woman walk­ing her dog spot­ted smoke bil­low­ing from the ware­house.

Fire­fight­ers from Crow­land and Spald­ing ar­rived to find the roof of the lean-to ablaze and called for backup from Mar­ket Deep­ing, Thor­ney and the wa­ter car­rier from Hol­beach be­fore the blaze was ex­tin­guished four hours later.

To­day vol­un­teers have been search­ing through de­bris to see what can be res­cued. Char­ity chair­man Frank Bar­rett, who spent all evening at the ware­house as fire­fight­ers bat­tled to con­tain the fire, said stock losses could to­tal £10,000 – al­most a quar­ter of their yearly fundrais­ing tar­get.

On top of that, there are re­pair ex­penses and bills such as skip hire, which alone costs £141.

He said: “Ev­ery­one knows what the ware­house is used for, so for some­body to set fire to it is un­be­liev­able, I was shocked when I got the call.

“It is hard to put a cost on what we have lost. It’s huge.”

Mar­i­lyn Ad­cock, who owns the com­plex, said: “This is ter­ri­ble. They raise so much for char­ity and if some­one hadn’t spot­ted the fire it could have been a lot worse, so well done to them. I am dev­as­tated as we had done ev­ery­thing to se­cure the site, in­clud­ing new perime­ter fenc­ing.”

The char­ity do­nated £10,000 this year to­wards a new teenage can­cer ward at Ad­den­brooke’s Hos­pi­tal in Cam­bridge.

They have also given the Teenage Can­cer Trust £60,000 in the past three years. Helen Bearfield-Smith, from the char­ity, said: “This is so up­set­ting, they are an amaz­ing char- ity and what they have achieved is in­cred­i­ble. They have helped thou­sands of young­sters with can­cer.”

Shocked com­mu­nity fund-raiser for Marie Curie Can­cer Care Stu­art Wyle said the fund’s “phe­nom­e­nal” £19,000 do­na­tion had helped pay for a can­cer nurse for a year. He added: “I can’t be­lieve this has hap­pened, their do­na­tions over the years have made a ma­jor dif­fer­ence to many peo­ple’s lives.”

Lin­colnshire po­lice have launched an in­ves­ti­ga­tion af­ter the fire ser­vice con­firmed the in­ci­dent was ar­son.

A po­lice spokesman said: “We have sight­ings of some youths in the area at the time of the fire, but we still need more in­for­ma­tion.” Con­tact 0300 111 0300 with in­for­ma­tion.

Pic­ture:

DEV­AS­TATED: Frank Bar­rett, chair­man of Crow­land Can­cer Fund, and Mike Jack­son search the char­ity’s fire-hit ware­house for sal­vagable items. (METP-19-05-10RH6)

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