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Police are appealing for witnesses of a suspected arson attack on a stable block in North Yorkshire.

At some time between 10:30pm last Friday (4 March) and 7:55am the following morning, it appears that the sliding-door entrance to a stable block at Manor Farm, Hetton, near Skipton, was deliberately set alight.

Five horses were in the stables but the fire appears to have extinguished itself without any loss of life or serious injury.

Mavis Reedy, who owns the farm, said that they only discovered there had been a fire at morning feed time, having locked up at 10.30pm.

“I was asleep with the window open, but the wind was blowing the opposite way,” said Mrs Reedy.

“The doors are completely blackened, the walls in my grand-daughter’s pony’s stable are black and there are the melted remains of two green plastic cans on the floor.”

“We are baffled why anyone would do this. This is the seventh generation we’ve been in the village, and we’ve never had any problems with vandals.”

PC Simon Crossley, rural and wildlife crime officer for North Yorkshire Police, confirmed that it “appears to have been an intentional act”.

“Unknown persons have placed what we believe to be containers of flammable liquid against wooden sliding doors to the stable block and lit them,” he said. “We are at a loss as to why someone would carry this out.”

Anyone with any information on the incident should contact North Yorkshire Police on tel: 0845 606 0247; crime reference 12110035587, or Crimestoppers on tel: 0800 555111.