WITNESSES reported two ‘kids’ smashed the window of a Bognor Regis shop before pouring petrol in and setting it alight.
The unnamed shop, which had not yet opened is situated on the station concourse and is part of a building also containing residential flats backing onto Richmond Road.
Resident Millie Scamlan was one of those evacuated just before 2am today (August 6).
“The fire alarm went off and we came out and there were two boys who came up and said they saw two younger kids smash the window, pour petrol in and set it alight,” she said.
Initially, she said the residents thought it might be a false alarm as it went off regularly.
“The alarm goes off quite a lot so everyone presumed it was nothing and it was my neighbour who saw the smoke.”
She said she and her neighbours were outside around 40 minutes, adding the two boys who told her what they saw were also throwing stones at the flats’ windows to alert people to the danger they were in.
Police have confirmed today that no one was hurt but are looking for two people seen fleeing the scene.
Terry Thompson, of neighbouring shop Escape 2 Vape and Crown Taxis, said he and his wife arrived at the shop this morning to see all the emergency services.
“I don’t know them, they’re just doing their shop up,” he said. “Unless they’ve got any enemies I’ve no idea.
“Over the past week they’ve been doing it up and fixing bits and pieces in. I didn’t think they were going to open for the next two or three weeks.”
The shop was previously Anglian Windows, which had long moved out and the shop was empty for some time.
Witnesses were asked to contract police on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 101 quoting reference 0087 of August 6.
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