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Owner of torched Hornchurch Dry Cleaners offers cash reward for suspect information

Hornchurch Dry Cleaners on Station Lane was torched in a fire that the owner believes was started by two young girls. Hornchurch Dry Cleaners on Station Lane was torched in a fire that the owner believes was started by two young girls.

Thursday, August 7, 2014
7:00 AM

The owner of a dry cleaners that was torched hospitalising two firefighters is offering a £250 reward to anyone who can help catch the arsonists.

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Hornchurch Dry Cleaners on Station Lane was torched in a fire that the owner believes was started by two young girls.Hornchurch Dry Cleaners on Station Lane was torched in a fire that the owner believes was started by two young girls.

Hornchurch Dry Cleaners, on Station Road, Hornchurch, has been shut for more than a month after it was engulfed in flames.

Janan Shakir, 41, whose family has owned the business for 18 years, is offering the money to encourage people with information to come forward.

“They have caused misery to other people, they need to be caught and penalised. They need to be caught and held accountable,” Mrs Shakir said.

“I think youngsters have a problem with ‘snitching’ but for money, someone might come forward.”

The girls run off a minute after setting it alightThe girls run off a minute after setting it alight

Firefighters confirmed that the blaze started after a bin was set fire to at the back of the shop and Mrs Shakir’s CCTV shows two “young girls” lighting it after 8pm on June 29.

She believes that more than £200,000 of damage was caused to clothing alone leaving many customers distressed.

“We have had customers incredibly upset after their dresses were burnt - six wedding dresses were burnt to a cinders,” she said.

Mrs Shakir believes that the perpetrators need to be caught before they strike again and others need to be warned of the severity of arson attacks.

A London Fire Brigade spokesman confirmed that the firefighters were injured while they were fighting the “ferocious” fire. They were both taken to Queen’s Hospital, Romford. One suffered a back injury and the other injured his hand.

The owner, who was left “devastated” by the closure of the shop which is her “livelihood”, alleges that the girls set fire to another bin at nearby accountants Cresswell Rumsey in the same evening.

Havering Police confirmed that no arrests have been made.

The reward will be paid to anyone that provides information that leads to a conviction.

If you have any information, contact Sam on 0208 477 3892 or sam.blewett@archant.co.uk

Read more:

‘Young girls’ ignited fire that torched Hornchurch Dry Cleaners

Arson attacks down 92 per cent in Havering

Police investigate suspected arson after Elm Park car fire

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