A PICKUP truck belonging to a fireman has been torched during a disturbing arson attack in Swanage.
Matthew Norman, who has worked as a retained firefighter for Dorset Fire & Rescue Service for a decade, was staying at his parents’ Days Road home when the drama unfolded in the early hours of last Friday Worryingly, this is the second time in just over a month someone has damaged Mr Norman’s work truck. The silver Mitsubishi 4x4 had paint-stripper poured over it on Christmas Eve.
Mr Norman, who ran from his house barefoot in a bid to stop the blaze from spreading, told the Daily Echo: “This is not the first time I’ve been targeted. I don’t like to speculate if there’s more to this, I don’t know if it’s just down to bad luck... I just don’t know.”
The truck is used in the 44-year-old’s business, M & D Landscapes and Garden Maintenance. Mr Norman, who says £2,000 of tools were destroyed in the blaze, also uses the pickup to travel to Swanage fire station where he works as a part-time firefighter. Indeed, on another night, Mr Norman himself may have been part of the fire crew sent to tackle the blaze.
He said: “I was woken about 2am to a car racing down the road. I got up, looked out of the window and didn’t take any further notice really. I went back to bed and a couple of minutes later my truck alarm went off.
“I thought ‘God, someone’s trying to nick my truck’. So I raced downstairs barefoot and there it was ablaze.”
The £10,000 vehicle suffered severe fire and smoke damage, and is a complete insurance write off.
Mr Norman said: “It could have been far worse, I’m lucky that only the truck and tools have been destroyed.
“The guys that attended from Swanage fire station were taking the Mickey a bit, but they meant it in a good way. A couple of them put an arm around me.”
Dorset Fire and Rescue Service attended the incident at 1.50am and said the cause is thought to have been malicious.
Any witnesses are urged to contact Dorset Police in confidence on 101.