FAMILIES have told of their terror after three cars went up in flames outside their front doors on a road in Bradford.

A silver Citroen C3 was destroyed, and a green Ford Mondeo and blue Peugeot 106 were severely damaged, in the early-morning arson attack.

The vehicles were parked on Heaton Road, between its junctions with Scotchman Road and Milford Place, when someone deliberately set fire to the Citroen at about 4am yesterday.

The fire spread to the other two vehicles after the Citroen's fuel tank split.

One resident, who did not want to be named, lives in a house directly next to where the fire was. She said her living room windows were hot to the touch and that smoke from the blaze was in her property.

"It was terrible," she said. "It was really bad, very scary. When we first saw it, it was just the one car. Then all three were on fire. It was a terribly scary atmosphere - my kids are still in shock.

"There were flames all over the place and we also heard a couple of bangs."

A neighbour, who also did not want to be named, said: "It was quite scary - I thought it might blow the cars up. I was worried. I thought it would get the gas lines or get the houses."

He added that one woman just managed to move her car from the scene before it too was set alight.

Safina Bibi, 44, owner of the Peugeot, said she woke at about 4am and saw the fire brigade.

"It was really bad," she said. "I think my car is totally gone. It is making me really stressed out. I have been here a long time and nothing has ever happened like this before."

The owner of the Mondeo, who did not want to be named, said he woke for work at about 8.30am and discovered what had happened. He missed the commotion because he lives in a back-to-back house, he said.

"It is a complete write-off," he said. "It is just living in Bradford. My main concern is what it is going to do to my insurance premium - it is already really high."

The owner of the Citroen said: "It is a bit early to say anything. We are still sorting things out."

Firefighters from Fairweather Green station were called to the scene. A spokesman for the station said had been spotted running from the scene. He added that no-one was injured as a result of the fire.

Police said they were treating the fire as an arson attack. Anyone with any information can ring police on 101.