HORRIFIED residents with young children fled their homes in fear after vehicles parked outside were set on fire in an "abhorrent" arson spree.

Members of the same family, who live in two houses two doors down from one another, were awoken early this morning to find four of their vehicles ablaze.

They quickly fled their homes, with children as young as four, past the burning cars, which they feared might “explode” at any moment.

Two white Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans parked in Tyersal Drive, Tyersal, were badly damaged, along with a red Ford Fiesta and a grey Ford Mondeo, which were both parked on driveways.

Police said the vehicles had been deliberately set on fire by "a number of men" who arrived at the scene in a black Audi A3.

The incident took place at around 1.20am, and was attended by firefighters from Bradford fire station and police.

Kirpal Singh, 49, who was alerted to the arson attack by his son, had his work van destroyed, and his wife’s car was also damaged. He said: “My son was up playing on his games console when he heard something outside.

“He saw a black Audi pull up outside and five people jump out, who then threw petrol all over the vans and the cars and set them alight.

“My son started banging on his window to try and get them to stop and they ran away.

“I work in building and construction and I’m self employed, so I can’t get anywhere or do any work.

“I was fast asleep when it happened, it’s scary that when you go to bed everything is fine and the next thing you know your van is on fire.

“I have been here for 14 years and my brother-in-law’s family have been here 11 years and we have never had a problem until this.”

Mr Singh’s brother and sister-in-law were also targeted, and had their van and car set alight .

Rajvinder Kaur said she had to rush out of their home with her two daughters, narrowly avoiding their burning Ford Mondeo on the drive.

“We took the children out as fast as we could to another house where they were safe,” she said.

“We didn’t know if or when the cars might explode or what would happen, or if the fire would spread to our house.

“The fires almost blocked us in as we tried to escape as the car is parked outside the front door on the drive and in the street.

“I heard a noise outside and looked out of the window, which is when I saw my brother-in-law’s van on fire.

“I came downstairs and as I was in the porch I saw them throw petrol on my car, it was scary as the fire was right outside the front door.

“My daughters are only nine and four, my four-year-old couldn’t go to school as she was so scared about the fire.”

A spokesman for Bradford fire station said the fires were “definitely deliberate”.

Meanwhile, a West Yorkshire Police spokesman appealed for any information related to the arson attack.

He said: "At 1.23am today, police were called to an incident in Tyersal Drive, Bradford.

“Two Mercedes Sprinter vans, a Ford Mondeo and a Ford Fiesta had been deliberately set on fire by a number of men who arrived at the scene in a black Audi A3. A 31-year-old man, from Bradford, has been arrested in connection with the incident and is currently in custody."

Councillor Mick Coulson (Labour, Pudsey) said the incident was “abhorrent”.

He said: “I am devastated. We will have to wait and see what the attack is put down to, but I will be making some calls to find out what’s what. It is totally unacceptable and I will be doing some digging to get to the bottom of this.”

He added that action needs to be taken, and community safety is of paramount importance. Anyone who witnessed the incident or who has any information is asked to contact Leeds District CID at Elland Road via 101 quoting log number 85 of July 20 or call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”