A MUM has spoken of how she feared her home was burning down after arsonists targeted the house next door.
Vandals struck in Byron Street in Southwick in broad daylight as the abandoned terrace property filled with furniture was set alight.
One of the neighbours of the litter-strewn house and yard has said she feared for the safety of her family and for their home when she spotted smoke rising from the street as she picked up her eldest of three daughters from school.
The 28-year-old, who asked not to be named out of concern for her girls, aged three, five and nine, said she had received calls from her cousin and friend who had been in her house looking after her toddler and fled after they realised the next door building was burning.
She said: “They had to run because they said next door was on fire, it was absolutely blazing.
“I couldn’t be sure it wasn’t coming out of mine because they wouldn’t let me in the street, but my attic is burned and we’ve had to open the windows all day because everything smells, it’s horrible.
“I’ve got three children and I would never let anything happen to them, I’m a nervous wreck.
“I was only five minutes away when it happened, but you could see the smoke.
“If it had happened during the night, we all would have been goners.
“It’s really shocked me. They put us at risk.”
I’ve got three children and I would never let anything happen to them, I’m a nervous wreck.Neighbour of arson-hit home
Northumbria Police say the fire began at around 3.15pm on Friday.
Officers are carrying out inquiries and appealing for anyone with information to contact them.
Any witnesses should ring Northumbria Police on 101 ext 69191 quoting reference 729 270315 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.