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Samaritans charity shop hit by ‘callous’ arsonists
ARSONISTS have destroyed a pile of bags full of donations left outside a charity shop’s front door.
Firefighters put out the flames, leaving staff to count the cost of the damage which is taking valuable money away from those who need it most.
Shop manager Debra, who could not give her surname due to Samaritans policy, said: “I just can’t understand why someone would do this.
“About two weeks ago someone broke in and stole a stereo system and we had another burglary earlier this year, so this is just adding to the list.
“It is costing us money which we need to support our local Samaritans branch. Every penny which gets taken to be used fixing the shop affects them.
“We tell people not to leave bags outside overnight, but why a person would go and start a fire to them like this is just beyond me.”
All contents of the bags were destroyed, while parts of the building’s exterior were also smoke damaged.
Debra said things could have been even worse if the flames had spread to neighbouring properties.
She said: “If the whole building had gone up, then it could have ruined the businesses upstairs and even put lives at risk as some of the shops next door have flats above them.”
Charlotte Fitch, the HR manager for First Care, based above the shop, said the fire, which happened at about 11.30pm on Tuesday, could have affected the people the firm looks after.
Ms Fitch said: “We work with vulnerable people in the care system. If our office had gone up in smoke, it would have left them in trouble.
“This is terrible for the charity. The people who carried out this callous act are taking away the proceeds from the desperate who need help.”
Anyone with information should call police on 101.