A FAMILY with two young children made a lucky escape after a suspected arson attack yesterday evening (May 15).

It is believed fuel was poured near the front door of a house at around 10pm on Hutton Close in Newbury, forcing the father to extinguish the blaze.

Although nobody was injured, police have appealed for witnesses to identify the culprits of the arson attack.

Police will step up patrols in the area over the coming days as neighbours are quizzed and forensic invesigators survey the scene.

Detective constable Phil Stephens, of Force CID based at Newbury, said: "This is an extremely serious offence aggravated by the fact that the family who live at the property have two young children who were at home at the time.

"Thankfully the father managed to extinguish the fire and no-one was hurt, but this offence could have easily ended in tragedy.

"I am appealing to anyone who saw anything or anyone acting unusually in the vicinity of Hutton Close yesterday to come forward.

"Alternatively, perhaps you have noticed someone you know has sustained burns, potentially to their hands, if you have then please report this to police.

"If you have any information please call the 24-hour Thames Valley Police enquiry centre on 101 quoting reference 43170140790."

"If you do not want to speak directly to the police you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.

"Residents will see an increased police presence in the area as we conduct house to house enquiries, carrying out forensic work and obtain CCTV. If you have any concerns please speak to a police officer."