Residents in a Melton residential street have been talking about the ‘incredibly frightening’ experience of waking up to see a car on fire after being deliberately set alight.
Firefighters were alerted to the blazing Ford Mondeo in The Crescent in the early hours of Saturday before getting reports just five minutes later of another vehicle being on fire in nearby Drummond Walk.
Fire investigators say both incidents were arson attacks and police have linked the two as they continue their inquiries into what happened.
Sue Wildman, who lives close to where the car was destroyed on The Crescent, told the Melton Times she and her husband were woken by ‘bangs and popping noises’ as the fire took hold.
She said: “The flames were quite high and we were concerned because there were other cars close by and we feared it might set them on fire too.
“It doesn’t bear thinking about what might have happened.
“I’ve lived in this street 48 years and nothing like this has ever happened before.”
Another neighbour, who declined to be named, said: “It was just incredibly frightening. You can’t believe someone would do something like that so close to people’s cars and houses.”
A woman, who was also awoken by the car fire and who also did not want to be named, said: “The bedroom was completely lit up when it went up.
“The fire just kept getting worse and worse until the fire brigade thankfully came and put it out.”
Crews from Oakham and Birstall attended the incidents, which took place at 3.34am and 3.39am, because Melton’s crews were tied up on another emergency.
Shortly before the arson attack on the first car was reported, two Melton crews were deployed to a blaze in a bin compound in Park Road in the town.
Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service said all three fires were believed to have been started deliberately.
A spokesperson said: “We were initially called to a bin compound fire which had caused smoke to enter a building and had set off an alarm.
“We very quickly got another set of calls to a car fire on The Crescent and then another call to another car fire on the car park just off Dieppe Way.
“The fire investigator was called to attend all three sites to collate information to assist with establishing the cause and damage for all of the incidents.”
A spokesperson for Leicestershire Police said: “Officers were called regarding two reports of vehicle fires in Melton Mowbray during the early hours of Saturday morning.
“A car was found on fire in The Crescent at 3.34am and a second car was found on fire in Drummond Walk at 3.39am.
“The call to police was received from Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service.
“The incidents are being linked and are being treated as arson.
“No-one was injured in the incidents.”
Anyone with any information is asked to call police on 101 quoting incident 18000380157.
The incidents follow just over a year after firefighters had to deal with two waves of arson attacks in successive weekends on the Fairmead Estate.
In the first, in early July, six cars were destroyed or damaged and seven days later another vehicle was badly damaged after deliberately being set alight with two adjacent cars also sustaining damage.