CONCERNS have been raised about safety in a caravan park after an arsonist set fire to a mobile home.

Danny O’Brien, a resident of Thorney Bay Caravan Park, Canvey, said caravans should be more spaced out, as he believes they are too close to each other.

However, the owners said this was not the case and they abide by all fire regulations and the site has been checked by the fire service.

Mr O’Brien, who has lived in a caravan on the park for the last couple of years, raised concerns after an arsonist set fire to a caravan which was completely destroyed.

The Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960 states it is up to local authorities to decide the ideal space between caravans on different sites, but as a general rule the UK Caravan Club recommends a six metre distance.

Mr O’Brien isn’t sure this is the case where he lives. He said: “The fire took place in the middle of the night.

“I remember I when watching it burn I thought how close the next door caravan was.

“I knew there was a family living in there with two children, and I was hammering on the door to get them awake, but thankfully they weren’t there.

“Thankfully only the one caravan caught fire, but it was very close.

“I looked it up afterwards and the recommended distance is more than five metres, but I don’t think it was no more than two after measuring.

“This is very scary.

“The owners of Thorney Bay seem to want to put as many caravans on site as possible without thinking about safety.” Claims the caravans are dangerously close together have been denied and dismissed by the owners.

A spokesman for the caravan park said: “All caravans at Thorney Bay Park have been checked and signed off by the Fire Brigade as they comply with all regulations.”

The fire was the second time a caravan had been deliberately set on fire in the park recently, with another caravan being burned down in September.

Mr O’Brien, who is soon to be moving away from the site, said action needs to be taken before another fire happens.

He added: “There were kids living in the caravan that was right next to the inferno.

“I don’t know them, and I think they’ve now moved away, but we’re talking about kids getting hurt here.

“Changes need to be made, otherwise if another bad fire strikes, we could be looking at 600 homeless people who’ve lost their homes to a fire.”

A spokesman for Essex Fire Service said: “Firefighters were called to a caravan fire in Thorney Bay Road, Canvey Island at 4.20am on Saturday October 20.

“The static caravan, which measured approximately twenty feet by seven feet, was completely on fire when crews arrived.

“Firefighters extinguished the fire by 5.04am.

“Following an investigation, we believe this fire was caused deliberately.”

Police were contacted about the fire and the fire service has been praised for stopping the fire from spreading with their quick response and good work.

Anyone with information should call police on 101.