A Melton couple have thanked residents who have raised hundred of pounds for them and their four young children following a distressing arson attack which destroyed their family car.
James and Aimee Nairn woke shortly after 2am on Saturday morning to see their Volvo XC90 ablaze in a car park outside the Drummond Walk home they only moved into three weeks ago.
The video at the top of the page shows the fire raging shortly after the attack.
James, who bought the car for £3,700 after being discharged from the army on medical grounds, has been unable to get to work at East Midlands Airport since the incident and he fears he may lose his job because his insurance company has been unable to provide him with a courtesy car while his claim is being processed.
The car seats he recently also bought with money from leaving the forces were also destroyed in the blaze along with push chairs and the couple are at the moment unable to transport their children to school and nursery.
The couple have been amazed by the generosity of local people since news spread of their plight on social media over the weekend.
A GoFundMe page was set up which has already generated more than £250 towards helping pay for a new car and car seats for the family and other people have visited the house to give them cash.
“I’ve had to phone up work to say I can’t get in - if I end up losing my job I just don’t know what we are going to do,” James told the Melton Times.
“It’s worrying for us and we are just grateful to those people who have donated money since it happened.”
The couple have a 12-week-old daughter Poppie-Louise and three other young children, Skyler-Mai (4), Myles (3) and one-year-old Harley.
James, who has done tours of Afghanistan as a soldier, said: “We were all asleep when it happened - someone came to the door and said ‘your car is on fire’.
“I went outside and I could see the flames and when I got about 10ft from it the car just went boom.
“I don’t know what would have happened if I had been any closer - I just hope they catch whoever did this.”
Aimee said: “It is heart-breaking to have this happen to our car.
“The children were horrified by it - I wouldn’t want any other family to go through this.
“We want to thank everyone who has donated money, they’ve been so kind.
“A lady came to the door and gave us £100 which was amazing and an old lady round the corner gave us £10.”
Neighbour Stephanie McQuillan, who has young children, watched the blazing car from her bedroom window and feared her two family cars would also catch light. Her video of the attack is shown at the top of the page.
She said: “It was a shock. We could hear the car alarm going off and you could hear the fire before you saw it.
“You could see the flames moving across the car park and I was worried they would spread to the other cars.
“These arson attacks have happened a few times now and I would like to see CCTV cameras put up to stop them doing it.”
Firefighters from the town station were quickly on the scene to tackle the blaze, which also damaged an adjacent Citroen C4 and some nearby fencing, and investigators said it was started deliberately.
A spokesperson for Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service said it received a report of a car fire in Drummond Walk at 2.03am, adding: “This incident involved two cars and a quantity of fencing which were extinguished using two breathing apparatus and one hose reel.
“One vehicle was destroyed by fire and a second vehicle 10 per cent damaged from heat, with three meters of fence panel destroyed by fire.
“It is believed to have been caused by deliberate ignition.”
Melton police officers were making enquiries in the area on Saturday and they appealed for anyone with CCTV coverage on the Fairmead Estate to contact them on 101.
A spokesperson for Leicestershire Police said: “Officers were called at 2.38am on Saturday to Drummond Walk, Melton, following a report of a fire which had caused damage to two cars and a fence.
“Following investigation, the fire is believed to have been started deliberately.
“Enquiries are ongoing.”
Anyone with any information is asked to contact police on 101 quoting incident 19000054897.
Go online at www.gofundme.com/vc5uw4-new-family-car if you would like to contribute to the fundraising for the Nairn family.