Horley arson attack linked to three other fires

West Sussex fire SUS-140306-164242001
West Sussex fire SUS-140306-164242001

An arson at a house in Horley is being linked to three other fires in Surrey - including one which destroyed Horley Lawn Tennis Club’s HQ 11 days ago.

Police and firefighters were called to Massetts Road, Horley, at 3.56am on Wednesday (July 2), where a house which was under renovation had been set on fire.

A spokesman for Surrey Police confirmed no one was in the building at the time.

The fire was the fourth in the Reigate and Banstead area and a £2,000 reward has been offered by independent charity Crimestoppers for any information passed to them which leads to the arrest and charge of an offender.

The case is set to be featured on BBC’s Crimewatch Roadshow tomorrow (Friday July 3) with Detective Chief Inspector Antony Archibald being interviewed live from Redhill.

The programme will be on BBC1 at 9.15am.

The other two fires were started at 4am at the Old Reigatian Rugby Club in Park Lane on June 28, and at 2.30am on June 26 at the Churchfields Bowls Club in Church Walk, Reigate.

The police spokesman said: “Significant damage was caused on each occasion, and in the case of the tennis club, a building that was near to completion after four years of fundraising by the local community, was destroyed.

“Police officers from the Reigate and Banstead Safer Neighbourhood Team have been carrying out significant enquiries around the area to offer advice around security following the incidents.”

Reigate and Banstead Neighbourhood Inspector Andy Rundle said: “We are taking these fires extremely seriously and would like to reassure the affected communities that we are doing all we can to put a stop to these incidents.

“We are determined to bring whoever is responsible for these crimes to justice and hope the offer of a reward from Crimestoppers will help in doing so.

“These fires are dangerous and can potentially put lives at risk while destroying what are important facilities for many local people, while the latest incident damaged a home.

“I urge anyone who has seen anyone acting suspiciously in the areas of the offences, in the early hours of the morning to get in touch. Similarly, if you have seen anyone acting suspiciously near the buildings earlier in the day then we need to hear from you.

“If you do have any information about the culprit and are concerned about reporting it, you can do so anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, or report it online at http://www.crimestoppers-uk.org/.”

A Surrey Fire & Rescue spokesman added: “We would encourage clubs to take advantage of our arson prevention advice to help them avoid this distressing experience, and residents to request a Home Fire Safety Visit. The freephone number to call to arrange either is 0800 085 0767.”