Hereford & Worcester

Malvern hedge fire started deliberately, police say

A fire in a hedgerow, which spread to two outbuildings in Worcestershire, was believed to have been started deliberately, say police.

Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service was called to reports of a house fire in Charles Way, Malvern, at about 22:00 BST on Wednesday.

A fire service spokesman said crews found a well-developed fire involving a large conifer hedgerow which had spread to a shed and lean-to.

It also came close to a bungalow.

A woman, who was in the bungalow, left safely and was uninjured.

'Completely reckless'

PC Frances Thorpe said: "After working with fire crews we believe this fire was started deliberately.

"This is a completely reckless act that, thankfully, has not resulted in further damage or someone getting hurt."

She added they were appealing for anyone with information about the fire to get in touch.

In particular she said they are keen to hear from anyone with information on a man seen in the area wearing a red top and possibly taking photographs on his phone.

Station Commander Adrian Thompson said: "This fire certainly had the potential to be very serious.

"Thankfully we had several calls reporting the incident, and firefighters were at the scene within minutes, working hard to bring the fire under control and minimise damage to the bungalow."

He said the hedge, shed and lean-to were "extensively damaged" while guttering and fascia on the bungalow were heat damaged.

He added an investigation was under way to establish how the fire started.

West Mercia Police said they will be stepping up patrols in the area.

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