Family’s fear after arson attack on Doncaster estate ‘could have put lives at risk’

A worried mum has told how she feared for her family’s safety after a fire threatened her home on a Doncaster estate after an arson attack.

Shani Turner was horrified when she saw flames leaping from a hedge next to the walkway at the bottom of her garden, on Brockhole Close, Cantley.

The fire which broke out behind Brockhole Close, Cantley

The fire which broke out behind Brockhole Close, Cantley

They had spread to her garden fence, and started to take hold of a second hedge, which runs from the bottom of her garden to the wall of her house, and were starting to reach a cylinder of butane gas used for their gas barbecue.

At that point, she and husband Gary, and Shani’s dad, who lives nearby, sprang into action to try to stop the flames moving any closer by attacking the fire with a small hose and buckets of water, at about 4.30pm on Wednesday January 9.

Shani said: “I had been sitting on the settee with my eight month old son, Chase, when I saw the fire. My dad came running round saying get the kids out and get some buckets.

“My husband, Gary, has been off work with a broken ankle, but he got up and helped. He picked up the butane and moved it away. If that had gone up we could all have been killed. You could see the flames from Goodison Boulevard.

Shani Turner, pictured with her husband Gary and son Chase. Picture: Marie Caley NDFP-12-01-19-Arson-4

Shani Turner, pictured with her husband Gary and son Chase. Picture: Marie Caley NDFP-12-01-19-Arson-4

“Our daughter, Lexi-Mai, who is seven, was hysterical. I was scared – we didn’t expect something like this to happen here.”

Gary said: “If the gas had blown up the house could have been flattened.”

The fire brigade arrived within 10 minutes, and put the fire out.

Police are also investigating and have been in touch with the family.

But Shani says is it not the first incident and is concerned about levels of antisocial behaviour at the estate. She has installed security cameras since the incident.

Another hedge was set alight next to a nearby playground on the same street, and a tree was set alight near the shops on Goodison Boulevard. She also believes the council should cut the hedges and remove litter to prevent it being used to start fires.

Gary said: “I don’t think whoever did this had thought about the consequences of what they had done. They need to learn the consequences. They need to realise there are people living in the houses here and people could be killed.”

Pc John Yorke said: “It was reported to us on January 9, a fence at a property on Brockhole Close, was set on fire and three of the panels damaged. The fire service attended and extinguished the fire. Two suspects have been identified as allegedly being involved. Investigations continue.”

Doncater Council has been approached for a comment.