ARSONISTS set fire to a house while a man was still inside.
Police have launched an investigation after a fire started at the front door of a house in Kestrel Way, Haswell, Durham, spread to the inside.
The 49-year-old was able to escape uninjured from the blazing newly-built detached home but the blaze tore through the house, causing extensive damage.
Detective Sergeant Steve Thubron, of Peterlee CID, said: “We believe the fire was started deliberately and would appeal to anyone who was in the area around the time it occurred and witnessed anything suspicious to contact us.”
The fire is believed to have been started at about 11pm on Thursday.
Anyone with information should contact DS Thubron on 03456 6060 365 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Elsewhere, fire crews were called to Phalp Street, South Hetton, after a blaze at a two-storey house at about 12.30am today. A man suffering smoke inhalation was helped to safety. The blaze is believed to be an accident.