A YOUNG family had a lucky escape after arsonists set fire to a van in the early hours of the morning.
The attackers torched a LDV van parked outside a neighbour’s house in Elmhow Grove, Hawkley Hall in the early hours of Saturday morning. But such was the ferocity of the blaze, it quickly spread to nearby conifers, just yards from the house where the family was asleep.
The alarm was raised by a passing taxi driver, who saw the flames, and another neighbour who also rushed out of his home when he saw what was going on. Both called the emergency services.
The resident, who did not wish to be named, said: “I’m devastated. All they have done is put a family at serious risk.
“I just came across my landing and the flames were so high that all I could see out of my window was orange!”
The van which was packed with kitchen fitting equipment belonged to Norman Parry, owner of Kitchens with Klass
Mr Parry, club physio at Wigan St Patrick’s rugby league and Great Britain Community Lions, said: “It makes me feel sick how someone can do this. I put my fair share into the community and this is the thanks I get.
“The damage lies further than the van because of the materials inside – I don’t even want to start thinking how much this has cost me. I can’t believe somebody would do this without motive, it’s sickening.”
Wigan Fire Station’s Crew commander Simon Connor of Green Watch said: “When we arrived at the scene, the fire was very well developed.
“It had started spreading to the conifers, putting those in the house adjacent to the vehicle in danger.”
A police spokesperson confirmed that they were investigating the incident and treating it as arson.
Anybody with any information is urged to contact Firestoppers which is a free and anonymous line on 0800 923 999.