Garage Special - June 2003
The night of the 19th & 20th of June 2003 exposed the outrageous elements of misbehaviour that we wouldn't wish to have associated with Cornwall let alone the charming village of Porthleven.
We were urgently called around 00:30 hours as some "bright spark" (sorry for the pun) decided to set our garages alight. Fortunately the main garage only contained the last remnants of rubbish from the house (a lot of which was certainly flammable) and was otherwise empty of valuables.
Several kind neighbours had promptly called the emergency services, and the fire, whilst clearly very serious, was already under some control upon our arrival. Other kindnesses were from those who came to give their moral support and the lady who brought hot tea for the firemen.
Three hours it took to dampen the last of the smoldering and we retired at 03:00!
Arson is a serious offence, but even though the Police would, we are sure, do everything possible to bring justice to the perpetrators, whoever did this we will probably never know. Clearly these mindless fools care not for the havoc and dangerous situations that they cause. We are certain that it was arson because a broken computer monitor (that I had placed in the garage) was found on fire some hundred yards away and it didn't walk there of its own accord.
What annoys us is the immense cost of all of this due to some mindless idiocy! At the scene there was one fire engine, two support vehicles, six firemen, two policemen and paramedics attending some person suffering from smoke inhalation who, being asthmatic, was whisked off to Treliske hospital in Truro eighteen miles away. Whoever this person is we hope they recovered well, and irrespective of the cost of replacing the now gutted garage this waste of time, effort and therefore money is unacceptable.
Fortunately the flames didn't penetrate the right hand garage too much and so the more valuable materials were only lightly scarred. Nevertheless, the beams holding the roofs of both garages were wrecked and, due to the heat, both the leftmost block wall and the internal adjoining walls were cracked in several places. The whole would have to be replaced as not one wall was safe. At the time it was also important to secure the garage as the structure was extremely dangerous and could have collapsed.
Looking at this devastation cemented our understanding of the enormous destructive ability of fire. So much damage in so short a time. We have never been so personally involved in such an event as this and we feel lucky that it was only a garage. We now have some inkling of what it must be like for those who have faced losing their homes (or worse) in such a way. And a terrifying thought that is!
Enough now, as words fail me to describe what we think of this crime and those persons who thought it so much fun!