A family said they are lucky to be alive after somebody ‘tried to kill them’ by petrol-bombing their home.
Riyasat Aly, his wife Safiya Aly and their three children aged 18, 14 and 12 were forced to flee their house on Manor Street in Accrington after somebody deliberately set fire to a petrol container outside their front door.
The blaze engulfed the door, nearby windows and front wall of the house as well as the carpet in the inside hallway.
Mr Aly, 48, believed it was a ‘targeted attack’ on their family and said his children are now too afraid to live there.
He said: “I think it was planned, not random. Whoever it was waited until I was at home and we were all upstairs asleep.
“The kids were very afraid and don’t want to live here now. They have gone to live at their uncle’s. They came back on Sunday night but they said they don’t want to stay here.”
Mr Aly, who works at a takeaway in Accrington, praised his brave son Bilal Aly after he alerted the rest of his family to the fire and helped them escape.
He said: “My son has asthma and he woke up and saw all the smoke. He came to us in the bedroom and said ‘get up, get up, quick, quick’ and pulled the blankets off us.
“It was very hard to breathe and we ran to open the windows. When I looked downstairs the whole door was on fire.
“My son took the blanket and threw it on the fire from upstairs. He picked up his brother and sister and got us out of the house.
“All credit goes to him. He saved all our lives.”
The incident happened at around 7am on Sunday, December 28 and left the family needing treatment for smoke inhalation.
Mr Aly said he had only been asleep for less than an hour when it happened. He said: “I was working Saturday night and didn’t get back until 4.15am. I sat in my sitting room and watched the news and went to bed about 6am.
“We are afraid to go to sleep now. On Sunday night I stayed up until 8am the next morning by the window downstairs.”
A Lancashire Police spokesman said: “Somebody has approached the property on Manor Street and then set fire to the front door.
“A plastic container with accelerant was also placed next to the front door which caused it to set fire.
“The fire service attended and put out the fire. The damage was just to the front door and not to the remainder of the house.”
Call police on 101 quoting reference number ED1404074.