Three people had to flee a house after a car parked on the driveway was targeted by an arsonist during the early hours of the morning.
Officers were called to a fire at a premises on Torquay Road in Thorney Close, Sunderland.
A Volkswagen Scirocco parked on the property’s driveway is thought to have been deliberately set on fire, with the blaze spreading to inside the garage – where a Mercedes was parked – and then to the house itself.
Three occupants inside the house, who were asleep at the time of the incident, are uninjured after being awoken by alarmed neighbours and were safely removed before the fire service arrived.
A 46-year-old man was arrested in connection with the incident and has been released under investigation.
The incident happened at 4.17am on Sunday, April 8.
Inquiries into the fire are ongoing. Anyone with information or who saw anything suspicious is asked to call 101 quoting log number 206 08/04/18 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.