Brookmans Park blaze: Owner ‘devastated’ after stables destroyed in arson attack

PUBLISHED: 16:19 16 July 2018 | UPDATED: 11:12 24 July 2018

Mymwood Paddocks stables after the fire. Picture: Andrea Clarkson.

Mymwood Paddocks stables after the fire. Picture: Andrea Clarkson.

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A Brookmans Park stables owner has been left “devastated” after an arson attack reduced them to rubble and caused £14k worth of damage.

Mymwood Paddocks stables before the fire. Picture: Andrea Clarkson.Mymwood Paddocks stables before the fire. Picture: Andrea Clarkson.

Emergency services rushed to reports of the blaze at Mymwood Paddocks in Kentish Lane, at around 10pm on Thursday, July 12, and found the site totally ablaze.

Andrea Clarkson, who has owned the stables for 20 years, said they were “completely destroyed” by the time she arrived, but the horses were unharmed as they were in the field.

The mother-of-one, who is also about to go on maternity leave, said the attack caused £14k worth of damage and the site is not insured.

“It’s absolutely sickening,” she told the Welwyn Hatfield Times. “You can try to cope with it if it’s an accident, but the fact that a complete stranger can do this to someone is just horrible.”

Mymwood Paddocks stables after the fire. Picture: Andrea Clarkson.Mymwood Paddocks stables after the fire. Picture: Andrea Clarkson.

Major renovations had been taking place at the stables for years and only finished in December last year.

Andrea said the fire service told her there was no doubt that the blaze was deliberate, and police are treating it as arson.

She added two teenagers or young men were seen climbing over a nearby field’s gates, before they cut through the fence to her property, and police later said a group of youths were seen running away shortly beforehand.

“I just feel helpless because I don’t know how to sort the situation out,” Andrea continued.

Mymwood Paddocks stables after the fire. Picture: Andrea Clarkson.Mymwood Paddocks stables after the fire. Picture: Andrea Clarkson.

“I’m still in shock really. I can’t believe anyone could do this and can’t see a way to put it right. I just hope they get caught and brought to justice.”

A fire service spokesman tweeted that a crew from Potters Bar was initially sent, but the blaze was so large that on approach engines from WGC and Hatfield were also mobilised.

The site was 50ft by 50ft and had seven stables.

In an OWL message, police said: “The entire stables and its contents (feed etc) were destroyed, but thankfully the horses were out grazing and unharmed.

Mymwood Paddocks stables after the fire. Picture: Andrea Clarkson.Mymwood Paddocks stables after the fire. Picture: Andrea Clarkson.

“If you have any information please call 101 and quote reference number 41/17092/18.”

The fire service eventually extinguished the blaze by 11.13pm. Anyone with information can also report it to police online.

It can also be reported to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

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