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Park equipment in Whitstable goes up in flames ‘for second time in a week’

A play park for young children caught fire for the second time in a week, prompting suspicions the flames were deliberately started.

A dog-walker alerted 999 after noticing the Whitstable play area’s rope frame had gone sent up in flames at about 8pm this evening.

The fire service attended the park in Wheatley Road, Whitstable.
The fire service attended the park in Wheatley Road, Whitstable.

Describing how the park in Wheatley Road has suffered several fires recently, she said: “I was just walking my dog down Wheatley Road and noticed the glow coming through the bushes.

“As I got closer, I could see the flames were big and quite high – possibly an accelerant was used by the way it was burning.

“I rushed home and called 999. The fire brigade arrived and put it out very quickly.”

Fire at a park in Wheatley Road, Whitstable.
Fire at a park in Wheatley Road, Whitstable.

She said earlier this week a dog refuse bin was set alight and, through the summer, several attempts were made to set fire to the bin store.

Police say they are treating the incidents as potential arson attacks, and stepping up patrols in the area.

A spokesperson said: “Kent Police has been made aware of two recent fires in Westmeads Recreation Ground, Whitstable; one on the afternoon of Friday 2 February and the other on the evening of Wednesday 7 February 2024.

“The fires are being treated as potentially suspicious and anyone with information should call Kent Police on 01843 222289, quoting reference 02-1048.

“Local Beat Officers are currently carrying out additional patrols in the area to deter and deal with any anti-social behaviour.”

A spokesman for Kent Fire and Rescue said: “Crews attended a small fire in a play park in Wheatley Road, Whitstable.

“It was extinguished with a hose reel jet and one fire engine was in attendance.”

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