FAMILIES feared graves of loved ones may be damaged after a fire started in a Worcester cemetery, says a councillor.

Fifteen square metres of bushes and trees were set alight in the fire at St John's Cemetery and three fire engines were called to the scene.

A spokesman for Fire Control said: "We were called at 10:55pm to a fire in Mcintyre Road, Worcester. The fire was in the cemetery, no graves were damaged but some plantpots and areas around graves caught alight. Firefighters tackled the blaze with two jets and a hose reel. They came away from the scene at 11:30pm and do not feel they need to return to assess the area again."

Richard Udall, a St John's councillor said: "Early indications point to someone setting fire to a dog poo bin and the fire spreading to trees and vegetation. A mindless thug clearly gained some perverse satisfaction from what happened, but many St John’s residents watched in horror and were worried about damage to loved ones graves. Thanks to the early intervention of the fire service no damage took place to graves, but it could have been a lot worse. It was very distressing to many people.

"Whoever did this is clearly very dangerous and needs to be caught and dealt with. If anyone has any information about who started the fire, please come forward, otherwise their next fire may be more serious."

A spokesman for the Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service said they were not yet able to confirm the cause of the fire.