A young mum with an 18-month-old son has talked about her terrifying experience of waking up at their Melton home to see her boyfriend’s car ablaze on the driveway after it was attacked by an arsonist.
Paige Harrison (20) was asleep with 22-year-old Mitchell Wood at her property on Bramley Close when the incident took place in the early hours of Saturday.
Melton firefighters were already battling another deliberately-started car fire just a few yards aways in Dieppe Way when Mitchell’s Vauxhall Nova was targeted.
The fire crew were arriving outside when Paige looked out the window to see the blaze close to the front of the property and she feared for the safety of her son, Coby.
She told the Melton Times: “I was asleep but randomly woke up around 2.30 and saw this orange glow at the top of my bedroom window.
“I could hear the burning and when I looked outside the flames were coming up to the window.
“I shouted to Mitchell to get up because the car was on fire and then we heard the firemen banging on the door.
“Coby was asleep in the back bedroom so we had to wake him and thankfully he didn’t have a clue what was happening.”
Firefighters took 40 minutes to get the blaze under control and they managed to stop it spreading to the house.
Paige added: “It was very scary and I’ve been struggling to sleep since it happened.
“Whoever did this is stupid - people who do this don’t seem to understand the impact it has on people and the damage it causes.
“I was lucky I woke up when I did, we were lucky we didn’t have the windows open like we normally do at night and we were very lucky the fire crew was round the corner at the time because it could have been a lot worse and caused a house fire.”
Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service is becoming increasingly concerned by the number of car fires being started on purpose in Melton.
In August we reported that a car was destroyed on The Crescent when a fire was started deliberately.
Arsonists went on the rampage on the Fairmead Estate on successive weekends last summer, when a total of nine car were either destroyed or seriously damaged after being set ablaze.
Simon Lee, who was fire service incident commander for the latest incidents, said: “We’ve had a spate of these car fires on the Fairmead Estate and we are tearing our hair out on how to stop them happening.
“They do seem to be random attacks, speaking to the owners of the vehicles, and we are working with our partners and the council to see if there is something we can do about it.”
Firefighter Lee gave clear advice to anyone who is at home when a car is set alight outside their property.
“We would tell people to keep their doors and windows shut and move to the opposite side of the property,” he said.
“They shoould call 999 to tell us they are inside and stay there until it is safe to come out or the fire crews can come inside to get them out.
“People need to make sure they have working smoke alarms at home and replace the batteries as soon as they run out.”
Leicestershire Police say officers were called to Dieppe Way shortly before 2.20am following a report that a BMW had been set alight and, just after 2.40am, they responded to a report of the Vauxhall Nova being set alight in Bramley Close.
Sergeant Paul Kear said: “Following these reports, an investigation has been launched and I would ask anyone who was in either Dieppe Way or Bramley Close in the early hours of Saturday morning to come forward.
“We have had a number of arson attacks on vehicles in Melton over the past 18 months.
“We need the help of the public to find out who is responsible.
“Maybe you were returning home from a night out or were working night shifts.
“If you saw anything suspicious and think you have information that could assist our investigation, please speak to us.”
Witnesses are asked to call police on 101, quoting incident 44 (Dieppe Way) or 56 (Bramley Close) of October 6.