GMP appeal for help catching firebugs behind tirade of arson attacks in Rochdale

Police are hunting for arsonists who they believe were behind three ‘linked’ attacks that happened on the same day in Rochdale.

The first incident happened at about 3.30pm Sunday June 7 when police were called to a fire at an outhouse on Derwent Street which then spread to a garden nearby.

On arrival, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue service and police discovered severe fire damage to both the outhouse and garden.

Soon after, a nearby wheelie bin was set alight.

The third attack was at the Aysha Mosque on Whitworth Road where a 43-year-man was inside at the time of the fire.

Detective Constable Russ Clarke, of Rochdale division, said: “Fortunately nobody was hurt as a result of the fires, but this could have been a very different story.

“Due to its location, the initial fire on Derwent Street could easily have spread to the attached houses, and was about to do so, when one of the occupants saw what was happening and contacted the fire service.

Police and Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service have launched a joint enquiry and believe the incidents are linked.

Dc Clarke said: “When the mosque was attacked somebody was inside and could have been seriously hurt.

“The intention behind these attacks is unclear and we are working to establish the circumstances.

“I ask that anybody with information about these incidents or anybody who saw anybody acting suspiciously in the areas at the times of the fires to contact police.”

Anyone with information on this incident is asked to call police on 101 or independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Image courtesy of Ray Foster, with thanks.

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