AN ARSONIST left a trail of destruction after striking five times on one street during the same night.
Flanshaw Garage, Alverthorpe WMC, a van, car and rubbish bin were all torched on a 200-metre stretch of Flanshaw Lane during the early hours of Wednesday morning.
Two explosions were prevented as quick-thinking firefighters and neighbours prevented a gas main rupturing and flames reaching the fuel tank of a car.
Karl Illingworth, 61, of Flanshaw Garage, said: “I have been here for 38 years and never expected my business to go up in flames. I just can’t believe it. What sort of person does this?”
Michael and Tracy Flockton of Flanshaw Lane were woken to see flames engulfing their Daewoo Matiz.
Mr Flockton, 43, said: “It is sick and I am shocked that someone could do this.
“I managed to put the fire out myself with an extinguisher and when we looked up the street we saw fire engines already here. If flames reached the fuel tank the whole house could have gone up.”
Fire crews from Wakefield and Ossett were called to Flanshaw Lane at around 3.15am to reports of three separate fires involving the car repair business, another vehicle and a Ford Transit van.
Gas company Transco were also called to secure a gas main.
Scenes of crime officers spent most of the morning inspecting the charred remains and detectives are now studying CCTV images from local businesses.
A police spokesman said they believe the fires were started by one person.
Anyone with any information about the arson attacks should contact DC Geoff Tickle on 0845 6060606 or Crimestoppers, anonymously on 0800 555111 and callers could receive a cash reward.