Owner is sickened by blaze

AN allotment owner has told of his devastation after seeing months of hard work go up in flames.

The horrified owner watched on in despair as firefighters put out the blaze on his patch on the Chester Road allotment site, in Hartlepool.

Two sheds, which had tools and other gardening equipment inside, were destroyed in the fire and the owner’s vegetable patch was also destroyed.

Firefighters were called to the scene at 8am on Friday to put out the 25ft-high flames.

An investigation into what caused the fire, which caused thick black smoke, has been launched by the police and fire.

The 72-year-old, who didn’t want to be named, said he was sickened when he saw what had happened.

He said: “I got a call to say my patch had gone up in flames.

“I jumped in my car and got up there as fast as I could.

“It was just a sickening feeling when I saw the fire engines, I can’t believe it.”

The devastated owner has owned a patch at the site for the past 20 years and tends to it every single day.

He added: “It’s awful to think that I will have lost everything I have been working on for the last year or so.

“To be honest I don’t know what I will do now.

“I will have to have a good look at it at and see exactly how much damage has been caused, it’s devastating.

“We have had a few break-ins here over the years, in fact we had one last weekend but I have never had anything like this before.”

The Chester Road allotment site featured in the Mail earlier this week after yobs went on a mindless wrecking spree.

A neighbouring patch to the one that went up in flames was daubed with graffiti during attacks last Sunday and Monday night,

A Cleveland Police spokeswoman said: “We received reports of a fire at the allotments and are working with the Fire Brigade to conduct enquiries to determine the cause of the blaze.”