SCARED residents feel it is only a matter of time before someone gets killed after a series of arson attacks on a Grays car dealer.

The fears were expressed after Mini and Acy Exports, on the Globe Industrial Estate, in Towers Road, was targeted for a third time in a matter of weeks.

The latest attack destroyed six vehicles. Three fire crews were needed to deal with the blaze early last Wednesday.

The firm lost ten vehicles in a similar incident on December 17 and six vehicles were left badly damaged in another attack on October 22.

One resident, who lives close to the site and wished to remain anonymous, said residents were living in fear whether there will be another incident.

She said: “Who knows what might happen next? It’s only a matter of time until someone gets killed “It’s not nice at all living around here at the moment.”

Ward councillor Rob Gledhill said it should be a safe area for people to live and work in, but the arson attacks had put lives and livelihoods at risk.

He added: “These attacks are very serious as they are not only harming business owners, but the surrounding neighbours too.

“Residents are extremely concerned for their own safety, as in the past they have been evacuated from their homes in the dead of night and are now reporting to me they are finding bits of glass and debris in their gardens following the attacks.”

Police are liaising with the fire service over the incidents.

A police spokesman said: “Police are aware of three separate incidents where the same premises have been subject of suspected arson.

“They are the most recent incident on January 22, an incident on December 17 and one on October 22. At this time, there is no evidence to suggest any specific links between these events.

“But, the same officers are investigating all three incidents. They will continue to progress all three inquiries and are keeping an open mind about potential motives.”

Det Sgt Jim Adams, of Grays CID, said: “We would like to try to establish any reason behind these attacks.

“Also, we would be particularly interested to hear from anyone who may know someone who may have come home smelling of petrol or smoke in the early hours of the morning.”

Anyone with information who has not yet spoken to the police is asked to call Grays CID on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.