Sunderland family flee blaze after arsonists target car
A father says his family are lucky to be alive after a horror arson attack on his car.
Michael Brown and wife Danielle had just watched hit TV show Game of Thrones when their convertible BMW caught fire outside their home in Druridge Avenue, Seaburn.
A series of explosions were set off as the blaze spread through the £4,500 vehicle, which was bought for his children to enjoy during the summer months and had a number plate bearing their initials.
The heat also damaged the front of their house.
Neighbours rushed to go to the aid of Michael, 38, and Danielle, 39, with an off-duty firefighter grabbing their twins Jake and Holly, 10, as the couple moved their two other cars and ensured dog Sassy was safe.
Now, Michael is offering a “substantial reward” for information which leads to the conviction for whoever started the potentially killer fire and has left his son “petrified” they could return.
The family believe men in a five-door silver or white VW Golf seen circling the street before the attack, could be linked to the arson after they were spotted on CCTV.
Michael said: “This could have been four murder charges here. We were sat watching TV and heard a bang and then saw this massive red orange glow coming from next to the bay window.
“I ran to the porch and Danielle looked out through the blinds and realised it was the car, and I shouted to Danielle to call the fire brigade.
“We got Jake and Molly out of bed. If it had been just at the front door we wouldn’t have been able to get out.
“The fire brigade couldn’t get down the street because it was double parked. In the time between us calling and them getting here, it was just pandemonium.
“Jake is distressed, he’s been up all night because he thinks they’re going to come back. I bought the car in February and it was in mint condition. The twins loved washing and looking after it.
“My life is my kids.
“We have got fantastic neighbours, the best. I can’t imagine what would have happened without them.”
Michael, who looks after adults with learning disabilities, and Danielle, who is also a carer, are installing extra security after the incident at about 10.20pm on Monday.
The incident is being treated as arson and police are carrying out inquiries.
Anyone with information can call Northumbria Police on 101 quoting reference 1340 020516 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.