A CARAVAN leant to St John Ambulance after their own was stolen last year was destroyed by a blaze this afternoon.

The vehicle, left outside the organisation's base in Station Approach, Marlow, was burned to a pile of ash and police are treating it as arson.

Volunteers have been left “completely dismayed” and want the culprit, if found, to do 200 hours community service helping them.

The garage, used by the service, was also badly damaged by the fire which happened about 3pm.

In November its mobile treatment unit, used by volunteers at events such as Marlow Town Regatta, was taken by thieves.

It contained kit costing £1,500.

The vehicle wrecked by fire today had been loaned to the Marlow branch by a resident in the town as a replacement.

Graham Innes, divisional officer at the Marlow branch, said: “We haven't had it that long so we hadn't put any equipment in it at least.

“We are completely dismayed. Obviously it means a lot of work we will have to do and the insurance we have to get for our building and the time and aggravation it will cause.

“It's just sheer vandalism and we'll be spending time dealing with this rather than what we need to do.”

A community service order would be apt, he said.

No arrests have been made.

Fire crews from High Wycombe and Beaconsfield attended.

The caravan stolen last year was donated by Marlow Round Table, and cost around £2,000.

Volunteers had discussed a possible replacement with Round Table members this week and await to hear if they will get a donation.

The organisation provides first aid to other major events like the Marlow Santa Fun Run in December and also aids the High Wycombe branch on match days at Wycombe Wanderers.

Thames Valley Police is appealing for witnesses to contact officers on 08458 505 505 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.