A SERIOUS fire which damaged three allotments has been described as mindless vandalism.

Two fire engines were called to the Queen’s Park allotments at around 9.40pm on Wednesday.

The fire spread across three allotments, causing damage to sheds, gardening equipment and liquid petroleum gas canisters.

Crews contained the fire before it spread to nearby houses, but the incident sparked a safety warning from firefighters.

Although the cause of the fire is unknown, John Bromley, treasurer of the allotments, said he believes the fire was started deliberately.

He said: “It’s just mindless vandalism, it’s absolutely rotten.

“We’ve been broken into several times over the years, including recently in March, but there’s never been a fire here before.

“It’s the allotment owners that have to pay the price at the end of it, there’s a couple of hundred pounds worth of damage here I think.

“We’ve got to buy a new lock for the gate after the firemen had to cut their way through, that’s another £50.

“I was called by the secretary this morning and came down as soon as I could.

“It’s a good thing the firefighters stopped the fire when they did, the next allotment holds thousands of bees which would have been killed.”

Mr Bromley, who has cared for an allotment at the site for 25 years, said he was unsure how people had broken into the site in the past and gained access.

He said: “The walls are high and there’s a deep drop, as well as the barbed wire to get over.”

Acting fire service watch manager John Riley said five sheds and a poly boom tunnel had been badly damaged.

He said: “We attended a serious fire.

“On arrival the fire service was faced with a severe fire spreading fast towards other sheds and property.

“There were also three liquid petroleum gas cylinders involved which were quickly identified and cooled.

“We used two jets and two hose reels to extinguish the fire and were there for two hours.

“The cause of the fire is under investigation.”

He continued: “It could have been more serious if we didn’t intervene when we did because of the close proximity of the other sheds and houses at the bottom of the close.

“I would also like to remind people not to store LPG cylinders in sheds,” he added.

because the have the potential to be dangerous.

“They could have caused some serious damage to ourselves and the surrounding properties.”