A STROKE of luck prevented a fire at a charity shop spreading to neighbouring properties.
Safer Neighbourhoods officers on a routine patrol happened to drive past the Harlington Hospice charity shop in Broadway Parade, West Drayton, in the early hours of Monday, January 7.
A fire crew were called and put out the small fire, which nevertheless caused significant damage. The front door was destroyed and the glass in a window cracked in the heat.
It is believed that bags of donated clothes left outside had been set alight.
The shop has been boarded up and is closed while the insurance claim is settled.
Rose Turner, co-ordinator of the hospice’s shops, said: “It is a really nasty thing to do.
“The most horrific thing about it is that a family with young children live above the shop.
“It is really fortunate that the police car was driving past. Everything in the shop now stinks of smoke, and it is costing us money every day that it is not open.”
Mrs Turner added that there was also evidence of attempts to set fire to a bag at a back entrance, but that failed to catch alight.
The charity was targeted by thieves in August, when £1,000 worth of valuable koi carp fish was stolen from a pond at its headquarters in St Peter’s Way, Harlington.
Harlington Hospice, which offers care for people with life-limiting illnesses, relies heavily on donations and fundraising. The charity has four other shops in the borough – in Ickenham, Harlington, and two in Ruislip Manor.
■ Police are investigating. If you know anything about this incident, call 101.