Teenagers forced to flee beds after car combusts following arson attack in Dagenham

PUBLISHED: 15:38 20 May 2013 | UPDATED: 11:33 22 May 2013

The car after being wrecked by fire last Sunday morning

The car after being wrecked by fire last Sunday morning


Teenagers were forced to flee from their beds after their family car erupted in flames which licked at the front of their home following an arson attack.

The car after being wrecked by fire last Sunday morningThe car after being wrecked by fire last Sunday morning

The son and daughter of Kerrie Mills were asleep in their beds while their mother was away at a family wedding when the car, a Volkswagon Polo parked in front of their home in Cartwright Road, Dagenham, was deliberately set alight, police confirmed.

Kerrie’s son Jake was only alerted to the danger outside after hearing a neighbour banging on the door and yelling for them to get out of the house in the early hours of Sunday morning.

“I was terrified,” said Jake, 18. “I heard someone kicking at the front door and as I opened my bedroom door the hallway was lit up orange from the flames outside — they were going up to the top of the house.

“I just dragged my sister out of her bed and ran her out of the house. She was still half asleep and didn’t have a clue what was going on.”

The inside of the burnt carThe inside of the burnt car

Mum-of-two Kerrie said she couldn’t understand why anyone would have set the fire, adding: “We have had no trouble or anything, that’s what’s most worrying.”

She said: “The gas box was right next to the fire so really it could have exploded all the other houses next door.”

The fire completely destroyed the family’s car and also burnt windows and guttering. Debris was scattered across neighbouring drives and cracked a window of the house next door.

One fire engine from Dagenham fought the blaze and called for police to attend and investigate. Crews were away by 4.10am.

A council tenant, Kerrie said she is looking to move from the property and is currently staying with family elsewhere.

Police said no-one inside the property was injured and have started an investigation.

Anyone who witnessed or has information concerning this incident should contact Barking and Dagenham CID on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously. Please quote reference CR5108445/13 in any communication.

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