'I never imagined the damage would be that bad'
I never imagined the damage would be that bad – Norwich couple recall arson attack
08:00 10 March 2016
The building off Catton Grove Road that was targeted by arsonists. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY
A couple today recalled the terrifying night that two men one apparently armed with a gun broke into an outbuilding in their garden before burning it down, as they watched on CCTV from just metres away.
Share link shares The building off Catton Grove Road that was targeted by arsonists. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY
Vicki and Chris Penrose were at home with their three children when the pair smashed their way into the outhouse by breaking a window with the weapon. Shortly afterwards, Mr Penrose spotted a light flickering from within the outbuilding and checked on the CCTV network he had fitted inside.
When they spotted the cameras, the two raiders fled, but not before torching the property, which was used as an office causing around 30,000 worth of damage. Police closed off a section of Catton Grove Road and the helicopter unit was called in to help with the search, but the offenders could not be traced.
CCTV images of two men police want to speak to about the arson.
Officers have launched a fresh appeal for help in tracking down the pair. They have said, however, that they believe the gun seen in the CCTV footage was an imitation weapon.
The outhouse is located about 30m behind the Penroses home, accessed from the main property by a separate entrance. Mr Penrose, a 36-year-old IT consultant, said: I was going upstairs and could see the flickering of light and thought something was going on out there. I then looked at the CCTV on my phone and saw a couple of people inside pulling everything out.
As I started walking out the back I realised the flickering was not from a torch, but from the start of a fire. Emergency services arrived within minutes but the fire quickly spread throughout the outbuilding. Mr Penrose added: I never imagined the damage would be that bad, I thought it would just be in a corner of the office, but it took a long time to damp it all down.
Mrs Penrose, said their three children had been asleep inside their home at the time. She said: I feel violated and angry because so much work has gone into that office. We had lots of photographs, our kid s birth certificates and our marriage certificates in there.
There are photographs we can t replace like baby pictures of our children and pictures from when we were at university. The couple built the outbuilding eight years ago and was used as both an office space and for social gatherings. Police yesterday released images of two men they would like to speak with in connection to the arson attack.
The incident took place shortly after midnight on Thursday, February 11 this year. Anyone with information is asked to contact PC Jane Scott at Norwich Police Station on 101 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
- ^ Luke Powell (www.edp24.co.uk)
- ^ Do you know these men?
Police release CCTV images of two men after arson attack in Norwich(www.edp24.co.uk)