In the early hours of Wednesday morning, the White Horse pub in Tea Green near Luton was ‘doused’ in a liquid and set on fire. Shocking CCTV footage shows the £25,000 beer garden go up in flames. Devastated owner, Jon Haines, believes the ‘secret garden’ was targeted in a suspected arson attack. Hertfordshire Police have also confirmed that they are treating the fire as arson.
Mr Haines said on Wednesday: “At 1am this morning somebody set fire to our new decking area.
“CCTV shows somebody climbing on top of some structure and dousing it.
“And then a few minutes later you see it go up like an explosion. It was definitely on purpose.”
The pub garden had undergone a complete renovation ahead of pubs reopening on Monday.
Mr Haines told BedfordshireLive: “What a waste of three months building it. We put so much effort into making it the best it could possibly be for us and our customers, it was a massive shame.
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“It was a big feature, a ‘wow’ of the venue, but I think that is why it was targeted to be honest.
“We called it the secret garden, it was a decking that was completely covered. A seating area with a fire pit and sofa.
“It’s a lot of lost revenue in terms of the investment cost and future earning cost.”
It is expected that the destruction will cost at least £2,000 a day in lost revenue.
“We will rebuild – bigger and better we hope. We are just grateful for all the support we have received.”
A spokesperson from Hertfordshire Constabulary said: “An investigation is underway and any witnesses or anyone with information should call the non-emergency number 101 quoting crime reference 41/26964/21.
“You can also report information online at www.herts.police.uk/report or speak to an operator in our Force Communications Room via our online web chat, which can be launched here: www.herts.police.uk/Contact.
“Alternatively, you can stay 100% anonymous by contacting the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or via their untraceable online form at crimestoppers-uk.org.”