A FAMILY with a three-month-baby girl had to flee their house after arsonists struck in the early hours of the morning.
Bobby Adair and his family were woken after their front window was broken and set on fire at 1.30am yesterday.
Luckily the family of five escaped unharmed after Bobby’s son, Robert, 27, who was visiting with his partner and baby daughter, raised the alarm.
Robert, a full-time carer for his wife, said: “I heard the windows getting smashed and shouted ‘dad’.
“When I got down the stairs the blinds were on fire and there was smoke everywhere.”
Bobby, 45, and Robert put out the fire by ripping off the blinds and the flames quickly burned themselves out.
Also in the semi-detached house was Bobby’s wife, Sue Adair, 50, Robert’s fiancé Samantha Weaver, 39, and baby Abigail.
Robert, who is visiting his parents in Wheatley Hill, from Chester, said of the attack: “I’m disgusted, it’s just the fact that my daughter could have died. This is cowardly.”
The family were all asleep upstairs at the time apart from Robert who was up with baby Abigail.
Despite some sort of accelerant being used, the fire failed to take hold.
But it damaged the bay window and left the inside of the home blackened with smoke damage.
Bobby, who is originally from Belfast, and who served in the British Army between 1985 and 1997, said: “I’m devastated. Somebody could have died.
“I would love to leave after what‘s happened but at the same time it makes me want to dig my heels in and stay.”
Sue called for the police and says she heard voices at the front of the house in Burns Street, Wheatley Hill.
Officers took away a bottle from the scene and also fibres found at the scene.
A joint probe has been launched by police and the fire brigade.
A Durham Police spokesman said: “The incident is being treated as arson.”
Anyone with any information to contact Peterlee CID on 101 extension 670 2611.