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Torched: Couple's terror as car torched yards from home
8:28am Friday 31st August 2012 in Latest
A COUPLE from Christchurch have spoken of their terror after their car was torched in a suspected arson attack just metres from their home.
John and Maria Hart from Anvil Court near Purewell say they have been left traumatised by the incident which happened in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
The couple were woken by a strange sound in the car park outside their flat and upon looking outside were horrified to see 12-foot flames shooting from the roof of their red Volvo estate car.
John, 63, said: “We’d gone to bed around 10.30pm-10.45pm but after a few hours a noise woke us up. It was a swishing sound – like a gas canister.
“ I thought it was the bin men at first and then the car alarm went off and I knew it was ours straight away.
“I immediately phoned 999 and rushed outside. The fire brigade were here within minutes, they were amazing.
“The fire then spread to the car next to it, which is our neighbours. I ran next door and bashed on their door to tell them.
“The amazing thing was a lady down the road who had seen the flames and come over, said her car had been set-on fire four or five months ago at 1.30am in the morning.
“She said whoever had done it had left a can underneath the car, which was how they lit it.
“Sure enough when we looked there was a can under our car as well.
“I don’t know if we were targeted but it does make you worried.”
John’s wife Maria said: “It was traumatic to see your car go up like that.
“I’m constantly thinking now, it might happen again. The fire was so close to the building. It was frightening.”
A spokesperson for Dorset Police said they were investigating the cause and circumstances surrounding the car fire.
They were called to the scene around 2am by firefighters who believed the fire had been started deliberately.
Grange ward councillor Denise Jones said: “I really am surprised and very disturbed by this news.
“I hope it is an incident that will get nipped in the bud immediately.
“This is not an area where I have ever had a complaint of anti-social behaviour or anything untoward.
“People should be able to live in their homes without fear, although obviously these people are rightly shaken by this incident.
“In this day and age it should not be happening.
“I am quite sure the police will take action as they are very pro-active and have already done a lot.”