A FAMILY say they could have been killed after firebugs torched a car just feet away from their front door.

Arsonists set fire to Sue Freear’s Renault Clio on Ravens Avenue, Halstead, in the early hours of Tuesday.

The car exploded and turned into a fireball, showering the street with shards of glass and metal debris.

Mum-of-three Sue, 43, and her family were asleep at the time.

She said: “We woke at 3.30 to a loud explosion. I called the fire brigade while my husband Gary moved the other cars from the drive.

“When the car exploded the brakes released, but by the grace of God the wheels were turned so the car rolled on to sleepers.

“If they had been straight the car would have been a ball of flames and rolled into the front of our home.”

Sue says they were lucky to escape unhurt and it could have been much worse.

“It’s really hard not to think about the what-ifs,” she said.

“If the car had rolled into the house, the house would have gone up in flames.

“It was life threatening.

“If we’d heard them tampering with the car and ran out there, we could have been caught in the explosion.

“With our three children in the house, it was just terrifying.”

“Our youngest, aged six, is frightened to go to sleep because she says she is scared someone will ‘bring fire to our home again’.”

Sue says the suspected arsonists were captured on CCTV as the car was engulfed in flames.

She said: “We have CCTV of the lads walking up and down the road and then running away at the time of the explosion.

“If anyone has any ideas of who would risk the lives of my family, I’d really appreciate any leads.”

Halstead Gazette:

Halstead firefighters were quickly on the scene and managed to put out the blaze before the inferno could spread.

Halstead fire station described it as a “very dangerous incident that could have easily injured people and other property”.

A brigade spokesman said: “Firefighters were called to a vehicle fire in Ravens Avenue, Halstead at 3.31am.

“On arrival, crews reported that a car was 100 per cent alight and worked to extinguish the fire by 4.02am.”

Sue praised the firefighters who raced into action to tackle the blaze.

“The firemen got to us very quickly – they were amazing,” she said.

“We are truly grateful to them for stopping the fire spreading to our home and our neighbours properties.

She added: “Our neighbours and the community have been so caring, sending flowers and messages of support.

“Halstead isn’t a bad place. The good far outweighs the bad.”

Police confirmed they believe the cause of the blaze was deliberate.

A spokesman said: “We are treating the fire as arson and our inquiries are ongoing.”

Anyone with information is urged to call Braintree police station on 101.