Arsonist could have suffered burns

By Harriet Ernstsons Monday 24 February 2014 Updated: 25/02 14:04

A MAN who set fire to a Matchborough house may have suffered burns.

Police are appealing for witnesses to trace the offender, who ran from the back of a terraced house in Dilwyn Close with a flaming jerry can which was still on fire when it was found in an alleyway there at 8.30pm on Saturday (February 22).

Neighbours were alerted by a large bang when the offender set fire to a window frame after trying to unsuccessfully break in through the back garden when no one was at home.

Residents started to tackle the blaze themselves before the fire service arrived. A window was burned out but the flames did not spread so inside there was mainly smoke damage.

The man seen running from the property was white, young looking, slim, around 5ft 5in and wearing a black hooded top and a black scarf across the lower part of his face.

Det Con Sophie Gaffney said: "We understand the offender was seen running from the back of the property with a petrol can which was still on fire.

"He may well have flash burns to his hands and scorched clothing. If you saw him making his way there with the petrol can or have any idea about who he might be then please get in touch with us immediately.

"Fortunately neighbours were alerted to the blaze by a small explosion as the window caught alight and their prompt action helped minimise the damage. This fire was started quite deliberately and bearing in mind it is a terraced property it could have been a lot worse. It is vital that anyone with information comes forward to help us catch the offender as quickly as possible."

Anyone with any information should call CID officers on 101, quoting incident reference number 602-S-220214, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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