Arsonists ‘could have killed’ a Sheffield family after it is believed lighted materials were pushed through their letter box, setting their home ablaze.
The occupants of the house, on Jenkin Road, Wincobank, were alerted by their smoke alarm early yesterday morning and managed to escape before dialling 999.
Firefighters managed to contain the flames within the hallway, although smoke spread throughout the terraced property.
Shocked neighbours were woken by the arrival of fire engines at about 2.20am.
The fire happened only a day after a car had been set on fire on the front drive of the same property.
One neighbour said: “How can someone do that to people’s houses when they are inside? It is lucky they were not killed.”
A couple and their grown-up children are understood to live at the property.
Another woman who lives nearby said: “They are a good family and have been here years. It’s quite a large, extended family.”
One of them, an older man who I know as John, had been taken into hospital after the car fire, I think due to the shock of it all.”
Coun Peter Price, who represents Shiregreen and Brightside, said: “Whoever has done this is sick in the head. They must have known there would have been people inside - I’m appalled that anybody could contemplate that kind of activity.
“The family are lucky to be alive.”
“I’m shocked, particularly because that area is not a part of the city where there is a history of that kind of thing going on.”
A spokeswoman for South Yorkshire Fire Service said: “We attended the property at about 2.20am. The family living at the property had been alerted by the smoke alarm and they managed to evacuate safely.
“The incident is being investigated by the police. A car was also set on fire at the property the previous night and the police are also looking into that.”
No-one from South Yorkshire Police was available for comment.
n Anyone with information about the fires is asked to call police on 101.