Report by Samantha Pope
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
A HISTORIC church in Clevedon was put at risk of being burnt down when teenagers set fire to a shed just a few feet away from it.
On August 14, two youths were spotted running away from St John’s Church where a shed was set alight and destroyed by the flames.
A petrol can was found in a hedge nearby and police are now investigating the incident at the St John’s Road site as arson.
Fortunately, the shed was only used to store bins and flower arranging equipment. However, the heat from the flames did cause the Perspex covers on some stained glass windows to melt and some of the church’s stonework was scorched.
Church warden Roger Taylor said: “The top of the windows are wood.
“Had the flames got through, we may have been looking at a burnt out church.
“What the heck are they playing at?
“Kids these days have got so much going on they just don’t know what to do with themselves.
“In my day we made our own entertainment – we played marbles or cricket – we didn’t have to rely on being entertained by computers.”
Police were called to the scene about 10.45am and they subsequently called the fire brigade.
Two pumps from Clevedon Fire Station went to the scene and two firefighters wearing breathing apparatus used a high-pressure hose reel to extinguish the flames before they were able to spread.
The petrol can found at the scene was due to be examined for forensic evidence.
The two teenage boys spotted fleeing the area are believed to be about 14-15 years old and both had shaved blond hair. One of them was wearing a grey hooded top and the other a navy blue T-shirt.
Anyone with information regarding the incident should contact PC Dave Hughes at Clevedon Police Station on 101.