Police in arsonist hunt

Owners Lynne and David Cottom
Owners Lynne and David Cottom

A WIGAN businesswoman has angrily hit out at “mindless” arsonists who attacked her hair salon.

Lynne Cottom said the incident, in which hanging baskets outside the Forty Vic St salon on Victoria Street, Newtown, were set alight, could have had serious or even fatal consequences for the lady who lives above the shop.

A neighbour who saw the blaze, which happened at about 1.30am on Saturday morning, managed to tackle the flames himself and prevent the fire spreading beyond the front of the shop.

Police confirmed the incident is being treated as arson, and urged any witnesses or anyone with information to come forward.

Lynne, who jointly owns the salon with her husband David, now says she wants to warn people in the area to look out for signs of criminal activity, and urged those responsible to think about the consequences of their actions.

Lynne, 54, said: “Someone set fire to the hanging baskets in front of the shop and it spread the whole front. One full panel has been burnt.

“I want to highlight this because a lady lives above the shop and it could have been fatal. It’s just mindless and senseless.

“They don’t realise what they are doing, and if our neighbour hadn’t spotted it and stepped in it could have been very serious.”

Lynne says she and David first became aware of the damage on Saturday morning when he came to open up the salon.

Although the shop was able to open as normal, the attack has disrupted a programme of improvement works which was being carried out on the salon.

Lynne said: “We’ve just had all the front of the shop done and we’re also having a new sign made, and we’ve now had to ring them up to postpone that.

“It’s just fortunate that it hasn’t been delivered and put up yet, I suppose.”

Anyone with information about this incident should contact Greater Manchester Police on 0161 856 7251, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

n Fire rescue drama – page 3