Thieves turned arsonists torch Sidmouth teen’s first car

PUBLISHED: 11:46 30 September 2011

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“Devastated” Georgia’s run-around reduced to fiireball.

Thieving arsonists left a Sidmouth teenager devastated after turning her first car into a fireball.

Reckless criminals torched Georgia Cobley’s valued run-around - as nearby residents slept - when they failed to take it for a joy ride in the early hours of last Friday morning.

The once red Peugeot 306 hatchback, that Georgia had owned for only three months, burned out of control in Manor Road for half an hour.

Firefighters raced to the scene to tackle flames - which damaged six metres of nearby fencing and hedgerow.

Fortfield Mews resident Georgia, 18, was woken at 4am by the sound of tyres exploding and said the act of arson left her with no way of getting to work.

“I’m devastated,” she told Herald reporter Charlie Lister.

“I bought the car from my grandad and paid nearly £1,000 to insure it just a few months ago. It was fifteen years old, but really reliable. I could have kept it for ages.

“The first thing I knew about the fire was when my little brother, who is like the neighbourhood watch, ran into my room at about 4am.”

Georgia said the blazing vehicle was unrecognisable at first, and it was only when police knocked on the door of her family home at 4.30am that she realised what had happened.

“I have no idea what I’m going to do about getting to work now,” she added.

“I just wish people would think about things before they do them and ruin other people’s plans.”

Georgia, who puts in 12-hour shifts at Straitgate Farm near Ottery St Mary, had parked in her usual spot the night before after dropping a friend off on her way home from work. A number of police units, including a sniffer dog, combed the area directly after the blaze.

A force spokeswoman said the Peugeot was stolen in Manor Road and thieves managed to move it just 30metres before setting it alight. She added the fire was being treated as suspicious. Firefighters from Sidmouth arrived at the scene at around 4am to find the car and nearby hedgerow engulfed in flames. Crew members donned breathing apparatus and used hosereel jets to douse the blaze.


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