Dovercourt beach hut arsonists target those with gas bottles

Burnt out beach huts Image copyright Tendring District Council
Image caption Burnt out and damaged beach huts - a "little slice of heaven" - at Dovercourt

Arsonists are targeting beach huts with gas canisters inside at an Essex resort, a district council said.

Three beach huts below Cliff Park in Dovercourt were damaged in an attack in the early hours of Wednesday.

Four Tendring District Council-owned huts have also been damaged and a spokesman said: "Arsonists are kicking down doors to find one with a canister.

"Owners are urged to ensure huts are secured and users are also reminded canisters should not be left inside."

Image copyright Tendring District Council
Image caption Two wooden huts were destroyed, with the neighbouring one damaged by the flames

Mandy Martin, from the Harwich & Dovercourt Beach Hut Association, said the owners were "devastated, as any of us would be".

"It might just be a shed to some people, but to us it's a little slice of heaven," she said.

"I would like to thank the dog walkers and others who saw the fire and raised the alarm - it is good to know they are keeping an eye on things for us.

"But what on Earth are these people doing there at that time, when it is pouring with rain? I just don't get it."

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