RESIDENTS watched on in despair as high flames gutted a gardener’s shed on
a community-run allotment in an arson attack.

Firefighters from Wrexham were called to the Johnstown Community Gardens near Heol Offa shortly before 7.50pm on Monday after the shed was set ablaze.

Heol Offa resident John Breeze, 82, whose garden is separated from the shed by a small grass pathway, saw the flames.

His grandson Daniel Roberts informed next door neighbour Robert Jarvis, 62, who took a hosepipe to the blaze, which reduced the shed to a heap of debris.

“The next thing we knew the fire brigade was here,” Mr Breeze added.

“Something like that, it’s frightening. If the conifers would have gone, it would have gone straight up three plots.”

Mr Jarvis said he was watching television when Daniel informed him of the fire.

“It was roaring. It was just as well that there were no gas containers there,” he said.

“It could have spread to the other sheds.”

Of whoever set the fire, he said: “It’s dangerous, and if they do that, where are they going to stop? I’m just worried about my shed.”

The fire crew extinguished the flames.

A North Wales Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said the blaze was started deliberately.

Johnstown Community Gardens was set up with help from Tidy Towns  funding around six years ago and is a self-sustaining venture run by the community.  

Cllr David A Bithell, ward member for Johnstown, said: “Two or three constituents notified me late on Monday night of a shed fire at the community gardens.

“Subsequent to that, I’ve spoken to North Wales Police, who have carried out an investigation. They were doing house-to-house enquiries, and we have got a CCTV camera in the area.

“We’re hopeful that by working with North Wales Police, we will be able to identify who the culprit is.”

Anyone with information on the fire can contact North Wales Police on 101, quoting incident reference V161220.