Arsonists target historic Highgate home

Arsonists targeted an historic house in Highgate in the early hours of Sunday morning, writes James Bryce.

Four fire engines and around 20 fire fighters from Hornsey and Kentish Town stations were called to the house on North Hill at around 1.47am on Sunday.

It took the fire-fighters around 45 minutes to bring the fire under control. No-one was home at the time of the blaze and no-one was injured.

Police closed off the busy road while they investigated the scene and the house was cordoned off.

The fire has damaged the rooms at the front of the house on both the ground and the first floors. The hallway was also badly burnt, while the rooms at the back of the house were damaged by the smoke.

Mr Haynes, a retiree and nearby resident, said: “It’s a community around here, everybody knows each other. Apparently it was burglary and arson.”

The young couple who own the house, who requested not to be named, are trying to sell the historic building.They said: “We are not a rich family. We have just decorated the front of the house. People who see this nice house with windows recently painted automatically assume we have lots of money, but we don’t.”

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The couple said the police told them the thieves entered the house from the back door, stole a bag and a bike, and set the house on fire.

A police spokeswoman said: “No arrests have been made and enquiries are ongoing. We are treating the incident as arson.”