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Arsonists cause around 40k damage to home/office in Wigan
Tuesday 3rd July, 2012

Arsonists targeted a home doubling as an office in Wigan.

The damage to the property was so severe it has left the homeowner with a bill of up to 40,000.

It happened on Sunday 3 June 2012 on Wigan Road. A passing police officer was on a routine patrol when they saw the property on fire. Inquiries quickly established the occupant was at a nearby flat and he was alerted.

Firefighters attended and put the blaze out, and found the fire had been deliberately started in the front room of the home which also doubles as an office space.

Police officers established that the main front door to the porch had been kicked in and also the door leading to the living room had also been kicked in. The entire room and the ground floor suffered extensive fire and smoke damage which may cost up to 40,000 to repair.

The offenders also stole a portable television and an Aiwa Hi-Fi system.

Police are now appealing to anyone with information to come forward.

Detective Constable Suzanne Rigby said: "Whoever is responsible for this fire has left the occupant with a monumental repair bill that runs into the tens of thousands, in addition to the emotional stress this has also put them through.

"The only saving grace is that this fire did not seriously injure anybody as we have all seen the tragic consequences of deliberate fires. No-one is able to control a fire, so it is very lucky no-one was hurt.

"However this is purely by chance rather than design and we are treating this attack very seriously. We need to catch the offenders before they can do any more harm.

"I would appeal to anyone who has information about this crime to come forward. I would also like to appeal to anyone who may have washed their partner's clothing recently and found them to smell strongly of smoke. If you suspect anything at all, then please call us."

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 0161 856 7295 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

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