Fire at Grays car dealership was "arson attack"

Thurrock Gazette: A reader picture of the ferocious blaze on Monday night A reader picture of the ferocious blaze on Monday night

ARSONISTS are believed to have torched a car dealership, destroying ten cars.

The fire at CMC Autos on Towers Road, Grays, broke out at about 11.45pm on Monday.

Police are treating the blaze as suspicious, with residents reporting to have seen “men in hoods” hanging around at the time.

It is thought to be the second time in two months that this car yard has been targeted.

All three emergency services rushed to the scene as the fire service received more than 50 calls from people living nearby.

Firefighters battled the numerous fires on the dealership’s narrow forecourt while police evacuated residents living in neighbouring Crescent Court flats.

One resident said: "The flames were coming over the fence into our car park area and all the cars in our area had to be moved.

"It is time this company were either closed down for the safety of the people in Crescent Court or a higher fence was put up.

"On the last occasion on October, one man was seen jumping the car yard's fence into Crescent Court before the place went up in flames and on Tuesday night two men were seen jumping into Crescent Court before the explosions started.

"This has been a terrifying experience again for all of us living in Crescent Court and something needs to be done about it."

Calvin Adisa, owner of the dealership, told the Gazette: “A lot of cars were burnt, it’s obviously going to have a huge affect on the business - some of the cars were pretty valuable.

Thurrock Gazette: cmc autos hit by arsonists

CMC Autos on Towers Road (Google Maps)

“I’ll try and claim on insurance, but they don’t always pay out, it’s no easy. I’m devastated to say the least.”

The fires were dealt with by 1am on Tuesday, with residents able to return to their homes at 1.15am.

A police spokesman said: “We are liasing with the fire brigade over the cause of the blaze, which is currently being treated as suspicious.”

Anyone with information should contact Grays CID on 101 - or Crimestoppers anonymously 0800 555 111.

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