Shotton man says family could have died in arson attack


Andrew Boyd

A MAN believes his young family could have been killed in an early morning fire.

Shafiul Islam, 42, has voiced his fears over a suspected arson attack which destroyed his garage behind his home on Chester Road East, Shotton, yesterday morning.

Police cordoned off the property as they investigated the cause of the fire.

Along with his wife and three young children – including a three-week-old baby – Mr Islam said he was in bed when the fire strated.

Mr Islam has expressed his gratitude to a passer-by who knocked on the door and said smoke was coming from the garage at about 6am yesterday.

“It is very upsetting for us, particularly for our children,” said Mr Islam.

“A man knocked on the door and told me there was a fire. I am so grateful to him for telling me and I’m grateful to the fire service for getting here so quickly.

“We were in bed at the time. We felt so helpless.

“I really believe we could have been killed by this fire.”

No one was injured in the blaze.

However, items including children’s toys, furniture and household items worth £3,000 being stored in the garage was destroyed.

Mr Islam said the items are not covered by insurance. During the morning rush hour, witnesses saw several police cars lining the main street from Shotton to Queensferry opposite Deeside Retail Park as investigations were carried out into the fire.

Mr Islam was in the house with his wife Dilruba Aktar, 35, and their daughters Rawnah, 10, Samika, seven and three-week-old baby Safwana.

He rang the fire service after being alerted and saw them arrive on the scene.

Mr Islam, who has lived in Shotton for 12 years since moving to Britain from Bangladesh, works at the nearby award-winning Bengal Dynasty restaurant.

He believes his family were deliberately targeted and he has previously encountered incidents of anti-social behaviour.

“There are a lot of nice people in this area,” he added. “We are grateful to so many people checking we are OK after the fire.

“Unfortunately, it seems there is a small number who want to cause problems for us.”

Staff at the neighbouring Travis Perkins builders merchants said they were able to open as normal despite the fire next door and police being at the scene.

A spokesman for the North Wales Fire and Rescue Service said they were called shortly after 6am to reports of a domestic garage fire.

“The cause of the fire is under investigation,” said the spokesman yesterday morning.

“There was 100 per cent damage to the garage.”

Two fire crews from Deeside attended the fire, using two sets of breathing apparatus to tackle the blaze.

A police spokesman confirmwed: “An investigation is underway into a fire which occurred at a garage belonging to a property on Chester Road East in Shotton this morning.

“The fire occurred at a garage which is detached from the property.

“No one was evacuated from the property and nobody was injured. The fire is being treated as suspicious.”

Police are appealing to anyone who was in the vicinity and who may have seen anyone acting suspiciously at around 4am yesterday morning to contact Mold CID on 101.

See full story in the Leader

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