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Family's lucky escape after malicious fire damages home
A FAMILY fled their home in the early hours after it was damaged in an arson attack.
The fire at a house in Weston Street on Portland yesterday is believed to have been sparked by disposed smoking materials.
The blaze spread from the garden fencing to the kitchen extension at the property and caused extensive damage.
Police believe it to be malicious.
The family, which includes young children, were not hurt.
Detectives and scenes of crime officers were at the house yesterday and an alleyway to the side of the property was sealed off.
Two fire crews from Portland were alerted at 2.15am and the fire was brought under control by 3am.
One nearby resident, who did not wish to be named, said: “The fire engines woke me up.
“I then went outside to make sure the residents weren’t hurt, and was so relieved to see that everyone was okay.
“The family will not be staying at the house because of the amount of damage, especially to the kitchen, and will be staying with a friend.”
The blaze destroyed the garden fence and guttering, a child’s wooden playhouse, damaged a kitchen extension and caused smoke damage to the rest of the house. There is also water damage to the first floor bathroom.
A neighbour, who did not want to be named, said the family were ‘lucky to be alive’.
He said: “The first thing I knew about it was the flashing lights, and I thought it was my own house. I got outside and realised it was up the road.
“There were around 15 firefighters there and the family who live there were obviously really shaken.
“Someone had put blankets around them and there were three young kids in a car nearby.”
A spokesman from South West Ambulance Service said paramedics attended as a precaution, but no-one was injured.
A spokesperson from Dorset Police said: “Extensive damage was caused to the extension of the house. The cause of the blaze is believed to be malicious, and Dorset Police are currently investigating what happened.
“No arrests have been made, and enquiries are ongoing.
“The residents are a family, and will be staying at a friend’s address for the time being.”
Witnesses and anyone with information should call 101.
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