A RESIDENT in a high rise council block feels forced to move out of his home after an arson attack in the building.

Vinny Stephenson, who lives on an upper floor in Barclay House in Wellington Road, Brighton, said he feels unsafe in the block after a fourth fire burned the bin room “to pieces”.

The 25-year-old support worker said he has been asking Brighton and Hove City Council to install CCTV in the building since February, after the bin room was first allegedly set alight on Sunday, January 26.

He said: “The CCTV is still on hold but all the residents are saying we need it.

“I’ve contacted the council so many times about getting security cameras put in the bin room since the first fire happened there at the start of the year.

“It could have helped spot who was doing it the first time and it could have prevented it happening again.

“Personally I’m going to try to move into the private sector for my own safety and security.”

The council has now said it will have a 24-hour security guard at the site.

The most recent fire at Barclay House was on Thursday last week. Vinny and other residents evacuated the building while the fire service tackled the blaze.

Sussex Police said they are treating the incident as suspicious.

Vinny said the room has been “completely shut down” and a window was blown out during the fire.

The Argus previously reported on two other fires in the same room at the block, with one resident having to haul a large wheelie bin on fire outside on Thursday, February 6.

Vinny said he does not know who is responsible but he believes the fires have been deliberate.

He said: “I’ve heard all sorts of rumours but we know drug dealing is rife around here so it could be they are starting these fires because of an unpaid debt. But it’s 100 per cent a deliberate, targeted attack.”

Vinny said there have been security issues in the building, which houses a lot of elderly people and disabled people.

He said: “The main door to the block was broken for a while and could be forced open, and after that it would not close properly.

“That was finally fixed but it took months.

“At the moment every time I go back to my flat I have to have my phone in my hand because I don’t feel safe.

“It just feels like the whole area is getting worse.”

A spokesman for Brighton and Hove City Council said it was taking action.

Her said: “We’re working with the police to investigate the recent fire in the bin room of Barclay House.

“We’ve contacted residents to check they are OK and to see if they can provide any more information.

“We’ve now arranged for a security guard to be on duty 24 hours a day.

“Because of the fire we’ve had to temporarily site the bins outside and secure the bin room.

“We’re currently considering options to permanently re-site the bins outside Barclay House.

“We will update residents as soon as we can.”