POLICE are probing a gangland-style firebomb attack on a Wigan home.
Masked men were seen fleeing a blaze in which a caravan was destroyed by flames which then spread to the adjoining house in Hindley.
An anonymous 999 call shortly after 10pm on Saturday evening first brought emergency services to the scene in Coniston Road, where they found the caravan already well ablaze on the driveway.
Police today confirmed that they received a phone call telling that the fire had been deliberately started. #
Residents in Coniston Road and nearby Windermere Road reported hearing a bang, before seeing masked men speeding off from the scene in a car.
They told the Wigan Evening Post that the blaze took hold quickly and firefighters confirmed that it also caused damage to the house.
The occupant of the house, said locally to be a man living on his own, is not thought to have been in at the time.
A resident on nearby Windermere Road said: “I heard a car screeching off and I ran outside and saw the caravan on fire. It was like an inferno so they must have used something pretty powerful to make it go up so fast.
“There were already a few people out on the street and one bloke told me he saw a gang of lads in masks get in a car and speed off.”
Another Windermere Road resident, who did not wish to be identified, said: “I heard a bang and ran out and it was well alight by then. It was just lucky that the house didn’t go up with it.”
Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service were on the scene within two minutes as crews from Hindley and Atherton battled to bring the blaze under control after they were informed by police of the fire shortly after 10pm on Saturday evening.
The fire service confirmed a fire investigator was investigating the fire on behalf of police.
A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police said: “Shortly after 10pm on Saturday May 4, police received a report of a fire at an address on Coniston Road, Hindley.
“Officers attended and found that a caravan at the side of the premises had been deliberately set on fire.
Nobody was injured as a result of the fire.”
The Wigan Evening Post called at the house but the resident declined to comment.