Arson probe after five cars and house in same street suffer extensive damage in blaze
Police are treating a fire in a street as arson after a number of cars and a house suffered large-scale damage.
The arson attack took place in the early hours of this morning in Seventh Street, Horden.
Fire crews and police were on the scene shortly after 1am, with firefighters working for more than an hour to put out three cars which were ablaze.
Two other cars and an unoccupied house were also damaged, and no injuries were reported.
A spokesman for Durham Constabulary said: "At about 1.05am this morning police were called to reports of a Hyundai on fire at Seventh Street, Horden.
"Three crews from County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service (CDDFRS) also responded, and on arrival three cars were alight: a Hyundai, Audi A3 and a silver Vectra.
"The window of a nearby property also on Seventh Street had been blown out. The premises was unoccupied.
"CDDFRS extinguished the fire, but a further two vehicles were damaged due to the heat.
"We are currently treating the incident as arson and investigations are ongoing.
“Anyone with information with regards to the arson or anyone who saw any suspicious activity in the area at the time is asked to contact police on 101, quoting reference number 14 ofJanuary 9.”
A spokesman from County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Two crews from Peterlee Fire Station responded to reports of a car fire on Seventh Street, Horden, just after 1am this morning.
"On arrival three cars were well alight and following reports of damage to two other cars and a nearby house, another crew from Seaham were dispatched to the scene.
"Firefighters worked for over an hour to bring the car fire under control.
"Fortunately there were no reported injuries and a joint investigation with Durham Constabulary has been launched into the cause of the fire.”
Residents have spoken of the attack as a 'sad day for Horden'.
Pat Barnett, chair of Horden Colliery Residents' Association, said: "It's really, really awful.
"We've worked really hard with the police and Durham County Council to make the village a good place to live in.
"It's a sad day for Horden.
"We finally got the people that matter looking at what is going on in Horden, and then this happens.
"It destroys your faith in human nature. It's a tragedy.
"We need to get to the bottom of this, because it's going from breaking fences to breaking windows and now setting fire to cars and houses. That's a big step.
"We've got to get the control back to the parents, police and authorities."