Northampton mum evacuates children after car torched by arsonist outside her window
A car fire that burnt gas boxes and cracked nearby windows in Northampton, putting a family in danger, was a result of a deliberate fire.
The fire service was called out to the blaze in Timken Way, Duston at 5.25am on Thursday.
Fire crews discovered a Volkswagen Golf that had been parked outside of nearby flats had been set alight with petrol - causing danger to occupants.
Danielle Driver, a neighbour, said: "The fire was right outside my living room window.
"I was asleep when I heard lots of these little bangs. Then I heard someone calling my name and telling me to get out. I woke up and realised what was happening and managed to get the children out.
"The window has cracked from the heat and the gas boxes outside are leaking. My children were very frightened."
A spokesman for the fire service confirmed the fire and that a nearby flat had to be evacuated, and said an investigation had found an arsonist was to blame.
"It's left burnt black oil patches everywhere," said Faye James, who lives on Timken Way.
"I was woken up by my daughter who said there was a car alarm going off.
"When I looked outside I saw a neighbour's car was on fire. After I called the fire service, I ran out and shouted to wake up people in the flats nearby.
"There were lots of little bangs and petrol was burning. At any moment, I thought it would explode.
"The fire door for that side of the road was melting. I had to shout to tell people in the upstairs flats to stay indoors. The people in the bottom flats managed to get out."
Faye said: "My neighbour caught the whole thing on CCTV.
"A man in a grey hoodie and black trousers comes down the road.. He checks out the cars on the road, including my husband's. Then he disappears up the road again.
"When he comes back, he's carrying a can of petrol. He pours it all over the car and even tries to pry open the bonnet to pour some in there.
"Then he sets it on fire and calmly walks off."
"It's all been so scary, especially for the lady it happened to. She's been quite badly shaken up. The car was new, but the way it's all happened seemed so random. This is normally a very quiet and safe neighbourhood."
Police are still investigating the incident.
Anyone with information can contact Northamptonshire Police on 101. Alternatively, they can call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.