A PREGNANT woman and a family with young children are believed to have been the targets of a series of arson attacks in Woodley.

Fire crews have been called to Drovers Way, Cross Way and Knowle Road over the last week and investigating officers believe the fires may all be linked.

At around 4pm on Tuesday (June 13) emergency services were sent to Drovers Way after an arsonist tried to set a gas main with exterior piping abalze.

An hour earlier, neighbours had alerted firefighters to a separate fire on Knowle Road, after what was assumed to have been a bonfire turned out to be much more serious.

Sheron Fullbrook, of Knowle Road, said: "Next door's fence caught fire. We thought they were just having a bonfire, but we don't know if it is linked to the other fire.

"We were sat out in the garden and we thought they had just decided to light a bonfire.

"The first fire broke out at around 3pm and the other was an hour later. It was really shocking.

"We called the fire brigade for next door and when we got back from school we found out the house on Drovers Way had a fire as well.

"It was chaotic. The one on Drovers Way was much more serious, it was very bad.

"Next door have not long moved in. Luckily nobody was hurt. She has got a family and young children.

"I don't know what happened, but all we know is there have been a few incidents around here lately and we have heard it was arson.

"It must have been deliberate. I don't know the people on Drovers Way very well. All I know is there is a young girl and she is pregnant."

The fire on Drovers Way destroyed a number of items in the back garden, as well as the backdoor, a window and the outside wall.

DC Phil Stephens, of Newbury Force CID, who is leading the investigation, added: “It was very fortunate that nobody was injured in this fire.

“There was another arson in a neighbouring road approximately 10 minutes earlier which occurred in the back garden of a property in Knowle Road and another in a garden of a home in Cross Way, which is also a short distance away.

“We are looking at the possibility that they may be linked due to location, time and type of the offences.

"We are very keen to hear from anyone who may have noticed anyone acting suspiciously in the area on Tuesday afternoon.

“Anyone with any information is asked to call us on 101 quoting 43170172586.”