A GRIEVING family have spoken of their devastation following a suspected arson attack on the property of their much-loved father - only a day after his funeral.

Jeremy Carr of Wheatley Hill, County Durham, was at the property just off the A181 when he saw large storage sheds going up in flames at about 11pm on Saturday.

The Northern Echo:

Despite the quick response of fire fighters the sheds and contents could not be saved and the wreckage was still smouldering yesterday.

Jeremy, 55, said: “I cannot believe what has happened. We are absolutely devastated. We have just got over my dad’s death and his funeral. We buried my dad on the Friday.

“It is a disgrace We cannot think who would have done this or why. My dad has never upset anyone.

“The sheds, near woodland, have been there for 48 years and we have never had any problems at all.”

On Friday mourners took to the streets to say farewell to the beloved businessman and scouting stalwart Tony Carr, who died aged 88.

The Northern Echo:

Mr Carr was driven to All Saints Church, in Wheatley Hill, in style with his coffin attached to his forklift truck driven by his son, Jeremy.

His business had thrived in the village and outgrew the premises, moving a few times to bigger premises until eventually building his own joinery manufacturing and machinist workshop which he renamed T Carr timber merchants.

Throughout his life, Mr Carr was passionate about the Scouts, something that was picked up by all three of his children who enjoyed family camping trips to Hexham.

The Northern Echo:

A co-founder and key member of 2nd Wheatley Hill Scout Group, he supplied and helped build the first Scout headquarters in the country to have a licensed bar.

Jeremy said: “It is years and years of his stuff that he has built up that has all gone up in flames in one night.

“We had three DIY stores in Wheatley Hill, Coxhoe and Horden. When he closed the businesses he brought all our stuff back here - timber, doors, worktops and couple of machines.

“There is not electricity so it could not have been an electrical fault.”

The Northern Echo:

A Durham Police confirmed arson investigation is currently underway.

A spokesperson said: “The fire was spotted by officers driving on the A181 towards Wingate at around 11.20pm on Saturday, January 16.

Working with the fire brigade, the fire was located at an address on Wingate Lane.

Anybody with information relating to the incident is asked to contact Durham Police on 101, quoting incident number 458 of January 16.