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Arson Attacks on Cornish Homes Up

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7:01am 28th August 2012

Pirate FM has learnt more homes are being deliberately set on fire.

Arson attacks on Duchy houses have doubled in a year.

Statistics from Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service show 20 were targeted in 2011, compared to 10 in 2010.

Overall, the number of arson incidents has fallen between 2009 and 2011, from 508 to 308. Blazes started in cars, wheelie bins and grassland or moorland are all down.

Adam Wallbank and his family were targeted as they slept at home in Camelford in January.

He woke up to find plastering liquid poured down the stairs and a lit pot of cement nearby. Adam said: "We just felt totally sick when it actually dawned on us that somebody had actually tried to set a fire. You think, that's our only exit out of the house. The stairs come down, we're a terraced building, and my seven year old daughter is two floors above.

"The immediate time after it happened, you just feel a little vulnerable, that somebody has just come in to your house and just decided to set fire to some stuff. You sort of wonder, who would do such a thing?"

Cornwall Fire and Rescue admit dealing with arson attacks is making it harder for them to respond to emergencies.

David Carlisle is a Group Commander, in charge of eight fire stations from St Dennis to St Just. He said: "If you're thinking of doing something foolish like arson, don't. We've got something known as the Firesetter intervention programme, who work with young people aged up to eighteen years old who may have a fascination with fire. We carry out visits to people's homes, we give talks and we listen.

"What if, at the same time, a house caught fire through perhaps something happening in the kitchen, or a road accident happened? We want our firefighters to go to those emergencies, rather than dealing with an incident that maybe is caused by an arsonist."

7:01am 28th August 2012

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