A SPATE of shed fires has left Isleworth neighbours devastated as the fire-brigade investigate whether there is a connection.
Ten properties in Worple Avenue, Isleworth were evacuated at 8pm on Monday after a shed was set on fire, leading to the blaze spreading through neighbouring gardens and ravaging a further two sheds, as well as trees, plants and fences.
Four fire engines and 20 fire-fighters were called to the scene, getting it under control by 10.23pm
Only 17 hours earlier at 1.50am engines were called to Roxborough Avenue, only streets away, where another two sheds had gone up in flames.
Marion Dearden, 65, of Worple Avenue, had between £10,000 and £15,000 worth of tools in her garden shed destroyed by the fire which she believes was started by someone lighting a fly-tipped mattress in the access alley connecting Worple Avenue and Woodstock Alley. It was absoloutly horrendous – really dreadful.
"It's complete devastation, not just the sheds but our entire back gardens and fences. I am scared to leave the house as our gardens are now completely exposed, anyone could just walk in."
A fire brigade spokesman said they are still investigating the cause of the fires and whether they are connected, but would like to use this as an example of why not to keep gas cannisters such as portable barbecues in your sheds, he said: "Around eight cylinders were involved in the Worple Avenue fire and more in the Roxborough Road fire.
"A temporary hazard zone was set up around the affected area as a precaution. Some cylinders can explode when exposed to heat and so can be very dangerous. We are asking people to store any sort of gas cylinders outside and away from direct sunlight."
Grandmother of one; Marion, believes that it may have been children smoking in the back alley which caused the mattress, which leaned against her shed, to go up in flames.
"There are always youngsters hanging around back there because they are away from prying eyes. A fireman told me he thinks it was the mattress that has gone up. The housing association only came to take pictures of it on Saturday, I can't believe that even though they had two days to clear it nothing was done. Now look what's happened.
"I just thank god that my grand-daughter wasn't here with her school friends when it happened. They would normally be playing in the pool in the back garden at that time, but she was rehearsing for a play."
A Hounslow Homes spokeswoman said: "During a routine estate inspection on Saturday our officer noticed some fly-tipped rubbish which they photographed for our contractors to quote on removal.
"First thing on Monday morning, the officer, who noted no one had reported the rubbish previously, made arrangements for its removal. We always endeavour to clear fly-tipped rubbish as soon as we are made aware of it and we urge residents to join the Chronicle, London Borough of Hounslow and Hounslow Homes in our ‘Lets stop it together’ campaign, to tackle the illegal dumping of rubbish in our community."
Report any fly-tipping to our Customer Service Centre on 0800 085 6575 www.hounslow.gov.uk/index/online_forms.htm or call the police on 0300 123 1212.