Clean up begins after Welshpool bank holiday arson attack


Jonny Drury

Residents reacted in horror as they returned from Bank Holiday breaks to find their homes hit by a large arson attack in Welshpool.

An investigation is underway to discover how the blaze began, which took out a number of garages, cars, and parts of people’s homes on Salop Road on Saturday evening.

It happened shortly after 9pm and saw crews working into the early hours of Sunday.

Five fire crews attended from Welshpool, Llanfair Caereinion, Llanfyllin and Montgomery.

Doors to people’s homes were smashed in by the emergency services checking for people trapped by the flames, but no-one was hurt in the blaze.

However extensive damage has been caused and some affected residents have  spoken to the County Times about their ordeal.

Regina Jurek, who lives in a flat near the garage, came home from a trip at 1am on Sunday morning, to find the devastating aftermath.

Water had gone through her kitchen window, the flames had smashed the glass and melted an outside conservatory roof.

She invited the County Times into her home on Tuesday afternoon to see the damage.

She said: “We had been to Poland and came back at 1am on Sunday, and were shocked to see this.

“My legs were shaking.

“We came back from holiday and we were so shocked, water had come through the door, the windows were smashed.

“It was big shock.

“We don’t have a car, so luckily it was only my bike in the garage.”

Dyfed Powys Police are now investigating and DC Paul Morris, of Newtown CID, said in a statement officers are appealing for witnesses who may have been in the Salop Road area between 9.15pm and 9.45pm on Saturday evening.

Mark Fellows lives across from the garages and got away with  a damaged telephone line.

He said: “You never expect anything like this to happen in Welshpool, or near to your home.

“There have been people inspecting in the last couple of days.

“Luckily for me, I just lost the telephone line.”

Lynette Nytanga lives on the top floor of the flats that are attached to the garages that went up in flames.

She had been away for an Easter break and before she went decided to take the train and leave her car at home.

That is a decision she now regrets, she admitted.

Miss Nytanga said: “My red car is the one all smashed up outside.

“I had gone away, and only got back on Sunday to find all this.

“A friend texted to  ask if I was okay and when I asked about my car they said it had been caught up in the blaze.

“It was just parked outside, I was going to take the car but decided to take the train – a decision I now regret really.

“My property was unaffected and no-one was inside.

“It has been hassle trying to sort out insurance and a new car, but luckily the insurance will cover it.”

Miss Nytanga was angry that the fire was started by arsonists.

She said: “You go away and come back and do not expect something like this to happen.

“It does make me angry and makes you think have people not got anything else better to do with their time?”

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