Arsonists caused thousands of pounds worth of damage at a children’s nursery after setting fire to a wooden playhouse.
Owners of Time 4 Nursery were literally left picking up the pieces of their playhouse after firebugs targeted the ir children’s play area on Saturday afternoon.
This is the first time the nursery on Heysham Road, a family run business open for 16 years, has been targetedin this manner.
Owner Sarah Rodriguez said: “Parents and children are devastated and sad. Our kids love that garden area.
“We are so glad people raised the alarm. They called my parents after seeing the fire from Douglas Park. The fire has caused damage which will run into thousands of pounds. The patio windows are cracked and melted, the soft play area and artificial grass have been ruined. We are really lucky the fire didn’t spread to the nursery building or we could have lost the whole business.
“The soft play equipments that was destroyed will cost £8, 000 or £9,000 to replace and the artificial grass will cost £1,000 to replace.
“There is quite a lot of money needed to replace things.
“It will take at least a month to replace things.
“It’s just one of those things There have been no previous incidents like this, just cans and bottles being thrown over the wall.
“There seems to be a lot of trouble in our area from groups of youths. We have had lots of Facebook messages offering support and people have offered donations and help. I don’t think it was anything other than kids messing about.”
Police said that at 5.40pm on Saturday, October 1, someone went into the grounds of the nursery and set fire to a wooden wendy house and then a plastic wendy house.
The subsequent fire damaged patio doors to the nursery.
A witness described seeing two youths nearby who then ran off.
Police and the fire service are investigating the fire as arson.
Anyone with information should contact police on 101 quoting crime reference number WB1608023.
On Facebook Carolyn Profitt said: “How awful!! I hope you catch whoever did this.”Emma Proctor said: “ I am disgusted, truly am. Why can’t people just leave things alone? It’s for kids!”
Sheila Henshaw said: “Sorry to hear this news. Mindless morons causing distress to you all at the nursery and surrounding area.
“I hope that the police catch the culprits quickly before they strike again.”
Jennifer Moore said: “Dreadful and very upsetting for you all.”Amanda Thompson said: “What a mess .”