MORE than a dozen firefighters tackled a series of blazes inside a home in Littlehampton, yesterday morning (Wednesday, April 9).
Vandals broke into a property awaiting demolition in St Winefrides Road, smashing windows and setting fire to both the ground floor and the first floor before fleeing.
A total of 15 firefighters from Littlehampton and East Preston were called to the scene, at 2.13am to tackle the blaze.
Watch commander Niall Cooper, who was at the scene, said: “There was a fair bit of damage to the building by people that broke in.
“They broke windows and left bottles laying around.
“Inside the building there were three seats of fire, two downstairs and one upstairs.
“The property was smoke-logged throughout. We used six breathing apparatuses to check it out and make sure there was no one left inside.”
Niall added: “The fires themselves were fairly small and they were pretty easy to deal with.”
Two high-pressure hose reel water jets were used to quell the flames, with fire crews using a thermal imaging camera to ensure the blazes were extinguished.
Police have since arrested five people on suspicion of burglary following a search of the area.
They are two men aged 24, one man aged 20, one man aged 18 and a 15-year-old girl, all from the local area.
When the Gazette went to press, the suspects were in custody awaiting an interview and further enquiries.