Retired couple left devastated after their motor home was set on fire in an arson attack

Police have launched an arson investigation after a retired couple’s motor home, which was parked on their drive outside of their house, is set on fire in a Hetton street.

Monday, 19th April 2021, 4:17 pm

Retired couple Geoffrey and Carol Bowden, both 77-years-old from Hetton, have been left devastated after their motor home was subjected to an arson attack at around 11pm on Saturday, April 17.

Emergency services attended the scene on Lambton Drive after being alerted to the incident and found that the fire had spread from the motor home to the house, causing extensive damage.

Geoffrey has told the Echo how much the motor home meant to the couple and how much they were looking forward to getting back on the road again after as lockdown restrictions ease.

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Police are investigation after the couple's motor home was set on fire on Saturday night (April 17).

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He said: “The motor home is a part of our life, we use it to enjoy our retirement together and in a normal year, we’d usually be away in it for about six months of the year.

"We often go to the Isle of Wight for up to six weeks at a time and to Spain for three months during the winter, we had just been loading it up to go away again with restrictions easing.

Geoffrey and Carol Bowden were looking forward to getting back on the road after lockdown restrictions eased.

"Some of our friends have even died due to Covid so we were really looking forward to seeing everyone as soon as possible.”

The couple’s granddaughter, Dionne Talbot, has set up a Go Fund Me page to help her grandparents cover some of the costs of the damage, with a £1,000 target set.

Geoffrey added: “The cost of the damage to the motor home is roughly around £30,000 with a further £10,000 for the damage caused to the house.

"The target for the page is £1,000 but if it reaches over that, when we want to donate the difference to the police and the fire brigade.

Geoffrey estimates that around £30,000 worth of damage, which had just been loaded up to go away, was caused to the motor home.

"The fast response and the help from both of them has been fantastic.”

Northumbria Police have confirmed that an investigation into the incident has been launched and officers are urging anyone with information relating to the incident to come forward and contact them.

“Emergency services attended and found a motor home that was parked on the drive was on fire with the blaze having subsequently spread to the house. Thankfully, nobody was injured.

The fire had spread to the couple's house, causing extensive damage.

“An investigation is ongoing to determine the cause of the fire, which is currently being treated as suspected arson.

“Anybody with information is asked to contact police via the ‘Tell Us Something’ page of our website or by calling 101 quoting log 1377 170421.”

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