Police probe church shed fire

The wrecked shed

The wrecked shed

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POLICE are investigating after a fire destroyed a shed in a memorial garden.

Emergency services were called at around 3am on Saturday morning in the community garden at St Anne’s Church’s community garden.

The wrecked garden at Beech Hill

The wrecked garden at Beech Hill

Firefighters spent half an hour bringing it under control with a spokesman saying there was a strong smell of paraffin leading them to suspect it could have been deliberately started.

Police also attended the scene and on Beech Hill Avenue and have launched a public appeal for information.

Plants were also destroyed in the garden which is in memory of Terry Cullen, the late husband of former Wigan Mayor Phyll Cullen,

In a statement on the GMP Wigan West Facebook, police said: “The Beech Hill policing team are this afternoon appealing for witnesses in relation to a fire last night at the Beech Hill Community Garden, St Anne’s Church, Beech Hill Avenue, which was seemingly started deliberately.

“Between last night and the early hours of (Saturday) morning the shed in the garden was set alight, destroying it and nearby planting areas.

“Albeit this may seem minor, in the context of what the garden was about, it is not. The garden was set up for the community as a whole. It was set up so food produced from it could be given to the members of the community that are struggling financially.

“Also this garden was supposed to be a place that everyone could use. The project is in its very early stages. The shed that has been destroyed housed all the tools needed for the garden.

“In addition to this some of the plants destroyed had been planted by the children from Beech Hill Primary School.

“This garden was also in memory of Terry Cullen, a prominent member of the community who sadly recently passed away.

“As above this crime will be felt by many in the community who have worked tirelessly to set this project up.

“Please if you have any information about this fire, contact police on 101 or crime stoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”