VOLUNTEERS have vowed they will not be defeated after an apparent act of arson on their community garden.

Crosskeys residents called the emergency services last Friday, November 3, when they spotted the shed in Waunfawr Park was ablaze.

Firefighters used “special equipment” to tame the flames. A South Wales Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson said: "At approximately 8:25pm on Friday, November 3, we received reports of a fire on Waunfawr Park Road, Crosskeys.

South Wales Argus: Shed at Waunfawr community gardens

"Abercarn and Duffryn Fire and Rescue stations were in attendance, alongside emergency service colleagues. The fire measured 12ft x 12ft and special equipment such as an XXXladder was used to manage the fire.

"A stop message was received at approximately 9:22pm."

'Fantastic community'

Carl Lugg, 61, of Dan Y Graig Road in Risca, is the garden committee’s secretary and treasurer. He says the shed contained children’s toys, as well as plastic tables and chairs that were brought out for family and school visits.

“It’s stuff that we have now got to replace,” said Mr Lugg. “We also have concerns that, if we replace the shed with another wooden shed, what’s to say they won’t do it again?”

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Residents believe they saw a group of young people running from the scene of the fire on Friday night – something Mr Lugg says is "not an isolated incident”.

“The antisocial behaviour in this area has been significant and nothing seems to have been about it,” he said.

“The community has been fantastic. We’ve been shocked by the response. What has disappointed me the most is the reaction of the police.

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“When we were clearing up the damage on the Sunday, we found they had gone into the greenhouse. We believe they were potentially looking to steal things.

“We’re a group of sixty-somethings, trying to do our bit to give people somewhere to go, have a coffee, and speak to people. But we are not going to be beaten by this event. We will sort things out.”

A spokesperson for Gwent Police said it would not be appropriate for the force to comment on the cause of the fire.

Fundraising group Crosskeys Community Spirit has raised more than £500 for the building of a new community garden shed. You can view the fundraiser at t.ly/W_Xrg.