A VAN was set alight in Dorchester in an early hours arson attack.

At 3.32am on Saturday morning, two crews from Dorchester attended reports of a van fire on Coburg Road in the county town.

Crews extinguished the fire using two sets of breathing apparatus, one hose reel jet and a dry powder extinguisher. The fire service confirmed the van was 'severely damaged' by the fire and that the cause of the fire was believed to be malicious.

One resident, who lived nearby but did not want to be named, said: “We live 100 yards away from where the fire took place.

“We heard bangs around 9pm which we thought might have been something to do with the fire, but that must have been fireworks.

“We didn’t hear any sirens at all, but driving past the van all burnt out it did look a complete mess.

“There is police tape around the van on Coburg Road and the van looks completely destroyed.

“It’s definitely a sad thing to happen and I hope the fire service is able to get to the bottom of exactly what happened.”

A spokesman for Dorset Police said enquiries were ongoing with the registered owner of the van.