Mum and children escape blazing home after "petrol bomb" attack
A PETROL bomb was probably used to ignite a house with a mum and two young children inside, say police.
The family had to escape out of a bathroom window after the front door of their Sidney Street home was set ablaze in the early hours of Monday.
A quick-thinking neighbour used a hosepipe to douse the flames and stop them spreading along the row of terraced houses.
Four fire engines were called out at 3.45am and firefighters found the front door smouldering.
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One elderly neighbour said: "I heard them shouting and looked out of the window and saw the fire engines and ambulance.
"A neighbour had run and put the fire out with a hosepipe from across the road.
"I think the family are OK."
She has lived in the street for 42 years and said it was the first time a house had caught fire.
"It's shocking somebody could do that when children lived in the house.
"And it's always a worry that the fire could have spread."
A police spokesman said: "When emergency services arrived, a man was hosing the door down and there were no visible flames."
The woman and her two children aged six and four were taken to Gloucestershire Royal Hospital but did not suffer any injuries or smoke inhalation.
Their home has now been boarded up and they have been forced to find alternative accommodation.
Police are now hunting a suspected arsonist and have been conducting door-to-door enquiries and searching through bins, cars and gardens.
The spokesman said: "We have made extensive inquiries. There is a definite possibility it could have been a petrol bomb thrown at the door so we are searching for an accelerant."
Police arrested a 32-year-old Gloucester man on Monday and have bailed him until November 21.
They are appealing for witnesses to the fire or for anyone with information about it to come forward.
Anyone who saw suspicious activity in the area should call 101, quoting incident 29 of September 24.