Northumberland County Council has condemned senseless acts in Blyth which have seen the town’s iconic beach huts badly damaged by fire.
A spate of fires were dealt with by Northumberland Fire and Rescue service last night – including at least three of the beach huts and three private vehicles in the South Beach area.
An investigation has been launched by Northumbria Police and the fire service and officers are treating the cause of the respective fires as suspected arson and believe the incidents to be linked.
Cllr Cath Homer, Northumberland County Council’s cabinet member with responsibility for culture, leisure and tourism, said: “This is a senseless act of vandalism which has caused dismay and distress within the town overnight and this morning.
“Thankfully it appears to be a random and isolated incident that certainly doesn’t reflect the wider community in Blyth.
“The beach huts are an iconic feature of the town and our county, and much loved by residents and visitors alike, and we’ll work to restore the beach huts as a matter of urgency.
“Tourism is growing in the area, which many of the local businesses rely on. This is such a shame given the resurgence of Blyth, and the investment that’s going into the town.
“Our fire service was quick to respond, and reassured we are working with the police and partners to bring those responsible to justice.”
Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service received a call just after 11pm last night, reporting fire in the dunes at Links Road. This was followed by a call at around 12.50am that the beach huts were on fire. Fire and rescue crews attended these and three vehicle fires around 2am – one on Wellesley Drive and one on Grenville Road.
Lee Buckingham from the fire and rescue service said: “We attended and managed these fires quickly and thankfully no-one was injured. A full investigation is underway, in conjunction with Northumbria Police.”
Witnesses or anybody who saw anything suspicious in the area last night is asked to call the Police on 101 quoting reference 1125 160120 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.