FIRE-STARTERS torched a coastal village during a mindless arson spree which has left some residents living in fear.

Crews from the Essex Fire Service were called to Jaywick four times between 10pm on Sunday and 7.30am yesterday.

During that period firefighters extinguished vehicle fires in Bentley Avenue, Alvis Avenue, and Hillman Avenue, and put out a blaze started in Riley Avenue.

Following an investigation into the cause of fires, all four of the incidents have been recorded as arson attacks.


One of the attacks involved a large trailer filled with scrap wood which was completely alight when fire crews arrived.

Martin Nichols, of Alvis Avenue, who owns the now scorched metal trailer, said: "The people who have done this have just gone from road to road to road, but last year this would happen every weekend.

"If my dad had not called the fire brigade when he did the wood on the trailer would have caught the fence and then the house and that would have been it, it would have all gone up."

Another Jaywick resident says she saw the moment the trailer of wood became engulfed in flames.

Speaking anonymously she said: "A delivery driver told me there was a fire so I went outside to see.

"There were high flames and this big fire at the end of the road.

"The firefighters were there for more than an hour as it kept relighting.

"It is worrying because the area is getting bad."

Carol Churcher, of Bentley Avenue, says a fence not far from where she lives also went up in flames after being torched.

She said: "All the houses down here are timber, so the smell of wood burning is not good and it can make you feel uneasy.

"A few houses went up the other year, but I have lived in more dangerous areas."

One Jaywick resident, who also asked to remain anonymous, says her sister helped put out one of the four fires.

She said: "I saw massive flames and I ran to where they were coming from and there was a sofa in-between two houses.

"Loads of people were trying to put it out and then my little sister rushed to a fire extinguisher and jumped into action.

"It could have been much worse."


Dan Casey, Tendring councillor for Jaywick Sands and West Clacton, blasted those responsible for the fires.

He said: "This type of malicious behaviour must not be tolerated and whoever did this must be prosecuted."

Brad Thompson, 36, is the chairman of the Jaywick Sands Neighbourhood Watch.

Shocked, he added: "It was nearly a year ago I had to pull someone out of a house fire in Jaywick.

"I'm fighting an ongoing battle but this must not happen again."

Essex Police has been contacted for comment but did not respond before going to print.

Anyone with any information or footage which could help the police should call 101.

Alternatively Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Could you be an on-call firefighter? Some of the firefighters who attended these incidents are on-call firefighters who are paid to protect their community. 

On-call firefighters all live or work within 5 minutes of an on-call fire station and respond to incidents from work or home when they are paged. 

If you live or work within 5 minutes of an on-call fire station you could be an on-call firefighter. Find out more about the role at