Oldham food hut hit by ‘arson attack’ again with security guard reportedly dragged out of car
A FOOD hut business in Oldham has reportedly been targeted in another arson attack with its owner saying a security guard was dragged out of his car and assaulted by a group of masked men. Follow our live blog for the latest from the scene Firefighters were sent to a premises on Havelock Street just after 4.20am with the business affected believed to be Uncle’s Tea Hut, which is based at Kaly’s Playland.
Pictures of the devastating blaze have been shared on social media.
The fire in Oldham (Picture: Spotted: Oldham)
The fire in Oldham (Picture: Spotted: Oldham) Muzafar Iqbal, 35, from Oldham, opened the business with his friend Imran Khan in October after being inspired by the growing trend of Asian tea and donut outlets in Bradford. He is shocked after the business has been targeted on a number of occasions and said a security guard was beaten up in the incident this morning.
Muzafar said: “We have a security guard on the site and he was in his car when a Vauxhall Zafira pulled up a brick was thrown through the driving side window. “Two men then got out and dragged him out of the car. “He was hit on his left arm with a large stick, there were about six of them wearing masks and one had a beard.
“They then set the food hut on fire and left. “The guard has been taken to hospital now.” Greater Manchester Police has been contacted for more information.
In a statement shared with the Manchester Evening News, a fire service spokesman said: “We were called at 4.23am this morning. “Two fire engines from Oldham and Hollins attended Havelock Street in Oldham. “Crews used two hose reels, one breathing apparatus and breaking-in gear to extinguish the fire.
“One casualty was checked over by firefighters. “We were there for about two hours and 15 minutes.” The cause of the fire has not been released by the fire service.
The food outlet has been targeted several times this year already. Back in February, when it was based on Alexandra Retail Park, there was an arson attack. Then in June, the firm’s new premises on Kalys Play Centre was vandalised with racist graffiti spray-painted there.
But since then there have also been a couple of more shocking incidents. Muzafar said on one occasion six petrol bombs were thrown on the hut but caused minimal damage, partly due to the wet weather. And then it was hit by another arson attack in which substantial damage was caused.
Muzafar said he does not know who is behind the spate of attacks and is hoping the police can find answers. He added: “I am not really sure why we have been targeted. “I am lost for words at the moment.
“I don’t know why these people have done it so many times.”