ARSONISTS are believed to be behind a fire that threatened to torch two homes in Chippenham's Downing Street.

Police are urging witnesses to come forward after fire destroyed a summer house, garden, telegraph pole and two cars as well as severely damaging a house. In the early hours of June 1, neighbours woke to hear telephone wires exploding as the fire took hold.

A couple in the house managed to escape as fire crews arrived. The householder believes it was a case of vandalism. She said the culprits set fire to the summer house without realising the consequences.

In the early hours of the morning people in Downing Street were woken up to the sound of electric blowing. An electricity pole, shed, a Vauxhall Zafira and a front porch to an address were all well alight. Another car parked nearby was also damaged due to the fire.

PCSO Alistair Duncan said: “We believe this fire was started deliberately and we would like to hear from anyone who may have information which could help our enquiries.

“We believe the fire was started in a shed and this spread to the side of a house, a vehicle and electricity pole. We were initially called to the area by the fire service shortly after 4am – it is lucky that nobody was injured as residents were asleep in their homes at the time.

“If you saw or heard any suspicious activity just before or after this time, please get in touch.”

Call 101 and quote crime reference number 54190052537.

Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.