Chichester sheds arson: Retired couple devastated after loss of 'irreplaceable' possessions

Stewart and Pat Clarke standing on the remains of their shed which was burnt to the ground. ks180547-2
Stewart and Pat Clarke standing on the remains of their shed which was burnt to the ground. ks180547-2

A couple from Lavant have been left devastated after they lost hundreds of pounds worth of items when their sheds were set on fire 'deliberately'.

Police received a report of a fire involving two sheds at an allotment in West Stoke Road, Lavant, last Thursday (October 25).

Aftermath of the fire. Picture contributed

Aftermath of the fire. Picture contributed

A police spokesman said firefighters attended and confirmed the fires were 'started deliberately' in the early hours of that morning.

Stewart, 70, and Pat Clarke, 74, have lost £900 worth of 'irreplaceable' Victorian tools, their harvest of garlic onions and potatoes, a radio, chairs and one of the sheds, according to daughter Ann.

"It’s devastating as this was their way of life and their enjoyment as they are both retired," she said.

"It saved them on costs for food at the supermarket.

Picture contributed

Picture contributed

"It was also a way of escapism, with them having to regularly look after my brother who has MS."

Ann said the sheds represented all her parents' hard work.

She added: "It made them happy and the loss is going to seriously affect them.

"It's sickening really."

Picture contributed

Picture contributed

West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service confirmed it sent two engines to the scene at 8.26am.

A fire service spokesman said: "On arrival, there were two sheds alight. The fires were extinguished and crews damped down the scene.

"The contents of both sheds were damaged, and one shed was completely destroyed by [the] fire. We left at 9.21am after passing details to police."

However, police confirmed that there are currently 'no further lines of enquiry'.

This comes much to the frustration of Stewart, Pat and daughter Ann, who said this isn't the first time it has happened.

She added: "This is the fifth shed that this has happened to at the allotment.

"Last year two sheds were burnt down and three this year in the last week.

"The police do not seem to be doing anything at all."

Anyone with any information is urged to report it online or call 101, quoting serial 376 of 25/10.

To help Ann in her efforts to raise money for her parents, please donate here.