Family living in terror as arsonists strike again in Llangollen

Reporter:

Rory Sheehan

A MOTHER has described the terror she and her family felt as a large fire ripped across a beauty spot above their home.

The gorse fire which spread along the Panorama Walk, below Trevor Rocks, near Llangollen, on Sunday night was started deliberately and an arson investigation is underway.

Firefighters fought the blaze from shortly before 7.30pm on Sunday until the early hours of yesterday and kept watch until shortly before 7am, nearly 12 hours later.

A resident who lives directly below the Panorama Walk has described her family’s terror and hit out at the firebugs, after a similar incident a few weeks ago.

The woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, expressed the family’s feelings in a strong letter to the Leader in a bid to make the perpetrators think about what they are doing.

She said: “For many of us who live, work and holiday in Llangollen, the outstanding view of the panorama with its impressive rock forms, lush vegetation and roaming wildlife provides us with a peaceful place to take picnics, ramble and complete outdoor activities.

“For myself and my family, it is our home. It is where my husband proposed to me four years ago and where, as a family, we have made many wonderful memories.

“We live in a wonderful house positioned in a secluded and isolated situation just beneath the rocks on the panorama. We feel lucky when we wake in the morning to look across the valley.

“Recently the disrespect for this beautiful area has escalated and become dangerous.

”Last night we watched as fire services tackled the second fire in as many weeks… fearful that this time it was even closer to our home.

“I have a teenage son and a three-month-old baby.

“My husband and I once again prepared ourselves to evacuate our home, our belongings and our life here.

“We are surrounded by woods, we overlook dry ferns, we live on the side of the valley and the fire can be seen by other people before us.

“Last night this fire appeared to start at the top of our driveway, thankfully after my husband went up to speak to fire officers this was across the road.

“However, a change in the direction of wind would have put us in great danger and potentially destroyed our home.

“It is frightening to hear the crackle and pop of fire spreading across the valley above our house.”

She added: “It is frightening to smell the fire and feel the warmth, to hear the dedicated team of fire officers organising how to control this blaze.

“It is alarming and scary to begin to decide what to do if we are unable to evacuate via our driveway.

“We watched as once again wildlife and vegetation were destroyed.

“It would seem these fires have been started deliberately, for what reason we do not know.

“Is this some way of protesting against the closure of local fire stations? Or is this someone’s idea of fun?

“This isn’t funny and this isn’t helping a cause. Perhaps they do not realise people live on the panorama. This is dangerous and puts lives and homes at potential risk.

“The fire and police officers put themselves in harm’s way. Both my husband and I work for the emergency services and NHS.

“These resources are drained at the best of times.

“I urge this person/s to stop this now. It is devastating to see such a lovely area destroyed.

“It is worrying to feel unsafe in our home at night, to feel we have to keep watch for the next fire that occurs and to pray that it doesn’t put us in danger.”

A spokesman for the fire service said: “We attended to a large fire in the open at the Panorama Walk in Llangollen, with two appliances from Wrexham and used beaters to put it out. We were there most of the night, keeping watch until the stop came in at 6.56am.”

An appliance from Llangollen Fire Station also helped at the scene.

@Llangollenfire tweeted: “19:25 fire in the open Panorama Llangollen. Three pumps used to fight fire. The wind conditions made it very challenging for us to extinguish.

“This fire was deliberate no thought for for fire appliance availability, public safety, wildlife or the environment . Please think guys.”

See full story in the Free Press

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