a DISABLED man believes he is lucky to be alive after vandals almost set fire to his home.
Widower Alan Revill, who has to walk with a stick, has to take strong medication for intense muscular pain, which leaves him in a deep sleep.
He had taken his tablets when vandals struck at his Langley Mill home. They set fire to a conifer hedge, which was so dry it was destroyed.
The flames were just about to spread to a garage, near to his house, when it was spotted by quick thinking neighbours who managed to wake retired knitter Mr Revill, 66, by hammering frantically on his door.
He said: “It was lucky my neighbours saw it, when I take my medication I’m knocked out. One of my neighbours about knocked the door down to wake me up. If it wasn’t for him I could have been killed.”
It comes after problems with yobs in the area drinking and causing a nuisance. Vandals set fire to the 6ft tall conifer hedge in his back garden, which had become extremely flammable and brittle due to the dry summer weather on Monday, July 11, at 9pm.
Mr Revill says his garage, which joins the hedge, has a wooden roof and was seconds away from going up in flames.
Neighbour’s John and Mark Yeomans saved the day, by waking Mr Revill and then putting the fire out with a garden hose.
The damage has left a gap of eight metres in Mr Revill’s hedge, which backs on to a public footpath. As a temporary measure he has been forced to cover the hole up with corrugated metal to keep his home and garden secure as a metal fence along the path is not high enough.
In a second blow, Mr Revill, who lives alone and is cared for by his daughter Belinda, 42, said his insurance company has refused to pay out for the damage. It says the hedge is not covered as part of his home insurance deal even though the gate, fence, garage and shed are.
Quotes Mr Revill has received so far to block the gap with a fence and clear away the damaged have been estimated at more than £2,000.
Now he has called on police to clamp down on the yob culture in the area. He said: “You can always hear groups of teenagers on the back yard drinking and throwing beer cans there’s just too much of it.”
Police are investigating the arson attack and have issued an appeal for witnesses who were in the area at the time or anyone who knows who is responsible to contact detectives on 0345 123 3333.