Brotton couple's car destroyed after suspected early morning arson attack

John and Susan Williams awoke to their car on fire at 1am on Monday. Police are investigating the incident as arson. Credit: NCJ MEDIA

A man has described the moment he had to evacuate his home with his sick wife after their cars were set on fire in what is thought was a deliberate arson attack.

John Williams said he woke up at 1am on Monday 12 December to an orange glow at his home in Brotton, near Saltburn and discovered his Ford Focus was alight.

The fire spread to a second vehicle, a Toyota CHR and singed the front of the property, damaging the guttering and a window.

Mr Williams, his wife Susan and their dog evacuated themselves to the back garden in case the cars exploded.

The couple believe they are victims of a deliberate attack after viewing a neighbour's CCTV footage.

Police say they are investigating the incident as arson with intent to endanger life.

Mrs Williams, who has cancer, has been in hospital for two days following the fire as stress caused her condition to deteriorate.

Recalling the ordeal, Mr Williams said: "I woke up about 1am in the early hours of Monday morning to see an orange glow on the bedroom wall and I thought 'what the hell is that?' I opened the blinds to see that our car was on fire.

"I quickly woke up my wife and got her down the stairs as quickly as possible and out in the back garden with the dog in case the car blew up. The fire then spread to our other car and ended up reaching the front of the house, I called the fire brigade as quickly as I could and two fire engines turned up to put out the fire."

A spokesperson from Cleveland Fire Brigade said: "We were called to a car fire on on Monday 12 December at 1am on Cunningham Close in Brotton, two fire engines in attendance from Loftus and Skelton. One vehicle on fire and front portion destroyed.

"Fire spread to another vehicle with quarter fire damage and wheel. Heat warping to guttering above front door of house, we left the scene at 1:42pm. It is thought to be deliberate, and investigations will take place as per our usual procedure."

A spokesperson from Cleveland Police said: "Police are investigating an arson with intent to endanger life, after a white Ford Focus was set alight whilst parked at the front of an address in Cunningham Close, Brotton.

"The fire then spread to a second car, a Toyota C-HR which was also parked outside of the address, and to the front of the house where it caused damage to a window and guttering.

"Police believe that this was an isolated incident targeting the victims, and are appealing for anyone with information or CCTV to come forward and call 101 quoting incident reference SE22223328."

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