Arson 'lunacy' at Oswaldtwistle park pets corner

First published in News Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Education reporter

ARSONISTS who put animals at risk by setting light to straw in a park petting zoo have been branded ‘despicable’.

Crews from Accrington Fire Station said only lucky conditions, and a dog walker sounding the alarm, prevented harm to animals in Rhyddings Park, Oswaldtwistle.

Firefighters, called to the park on Tuesday evening after vandals set fire to a large storage pile of straw, next to where animals were being kept, were able to extinguish the fire before it took hold.

The Pets Corner is run by volunteers at the Friends of Rhyddings Park and feat- ures duck, goats, chickens, rabbits and guinea pigs.

Fire station crew manager Chris Archer said: “It’s the section of the park where volunteers keep guinea pigs and rabbits. A pile of straw being kept aside for the animals had been set alight. It was luckily only a small fire due to damp conditions. Getting an early warning from the dog walker before it took hold also helped. If it had gone up entirely, it could have been very nasty and caused a lot of smoke, and spread much faster.”

Oswaldtwistle councillor Peter Britcliffe said: “It is absolutely disgraceful. The Pets Corner is a very much loved part of the park and obviously it would be impossible to watch it constantly.

“I will be speaking to local police officers about patrolling more often, but it is sad that is needed for a children’s pets area. It is completely despicable.”

Ward councillor Colette McCormack said: “I am completely shocked. To do this is just mindless lunacy.”

Gayle Knight, from the Friends group, said: “It is despicable and we will be considering what to do about storage of straw. It would seem that if you leave anything within people’s reach. they get tempted to do something terrible.”

Comments (4)

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4:48pm Thu 4 Apr 13

Begbie says...

There's been some horrible little scroats knocking round Ossy lately. Parents do you know what your kids are up too.? At weekend some kid with specs (ginger hair shaved at the back) and his two mates bricked a woman and her daughter in their car next to the cross pub as they wee driving past. They were off like a shot when they saw me. They had just eyed my car but thought better of it.
There's been some horrible little scroats knocking round Ossy lately. Parents do you know what your kids are up too.? At weekend some kid with specs (ginger hair shaved at the back) and his two mates bricked a woman and her daughter in their car next to the cross pub as they wee driving past. They were off like a shot when they saw me. They had just eyed my car but thought better of it. Begbie
  • Score: 1

10:21am Fri 5 Apr 13

jus' visitin says...

Just what kind of morons are we breeding today? The do gooders who keep saying the little darlings shouldn't be punished are at the root of all this kind of behaviour.
Just what kind of morons are we breeding today? The do gooders who keep saying the little darlings shouldn't be punished are at the root of all this kind of behaviour. jus' visitin
  • Score: 0

7:27pm Sun 7 Apr 13

Garinda says...

If they're caught the arsonists should be locked up in there. Then we can decide when to feed them...or not.
If they're caught the arsonists should be locked up in there. Then we can decide when to feed them...or not. Garinda
  • Score: 0

11:41am Wed 10 Apr 13

BillyJ says...

The local PC's and PCSO's are to busy trying to be friends to these scroats. They are not scared of the police because they know nothing will happen to them if they are caught. If members of the public step in to do the job of the police then the police will soon get involved to protect the little darlings
The local PC's and PCSO's are to busy trying to be friends to these scroats. They are not scared of the police because they know nothing will happen to them if they are caught. If members of the public step in to do the job of the police then the police will soon get involved to protect the little darlings BillyJ
  • Score: 0

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