The man who runs a popular Cheam community space has been in “no man’s land” over the past few days after a fire ripped through it during a suspected arson attack.

Heartbroken Kevin Plicio, manager of Yourspace.sutton, has spoken of his devastation following the incident on January 12 which caused significant damage.

A portable building, volunteer room and an outside-in tearoom were among the casualties in the blaze, as well as volunteered artwork and handcrafted models.

Emergency services are still yet to establish the cause of the fire, however, more than £4,000 has been raised in crowdfunding in a bid to help restore the space.

In a Facebook post he said: “Luckily no one was hurt and there are far worse cases of fire tragedy than mine, where people have died, or lost just about everything, or even become homeless, and I know how lucky we are in life not to really know such travesty.

“And yet, I guess I find I have been in a kind of no man’s land these past few days, stood almost still, even morosely, just staring at the remnants of current parts of my Yourspace.sutton vision.

“And as the reality starts to set in I find I’m also angry at myself for letting slip all that wonderful progress and so much of the volunteer efforts this past year in particular.”

Mr Plicio added he found himself feeling he might have “failed to safeguard” what had been created, and how devastated people from the community would be to lose their “blissful local habitat”.

But he admitted the “loss of the feeling of escaping to a little haven has also been the hardest to swallow”.

The Yourspace.sutton manager was quick to praise efforts from the community as close to £4,000 has been raised at the time of publishing.

He's also grateful to the nearby Sherwood Park School, while Sutton Council has been in to inspect the damage alongside insurers and loss adjustors.

A London Fire Brigade spokesman said they sent four fire engines and around 25 firefighters to the scene of the incident that day.

A single-storey timber building was destroyed by the fire, alongside a small part of another single-storey timber building which was damaged.

He added there were no reports of any injuries and the cause of the fire is being investigated alongside the Metropolitan Police.

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