POLICE have launched an arson investigation following three caravan fires in Southampton this week.

Emergency services rushed to Brownlow Avenue yesterday after a caravan was set alight outside a property.

This comes after one caravan in Bitterne and one in Sholing were ablaze within hours of each other on Tuesday.

A spokesman for Hampshire police said the force believes the three incidents are linked.

WATCH: A caravan fire in Upper Deacon Road, Southampton

Residents in Brownlow Avenue said they were woken up by a loud bang in the early hours of yesterday morning.

Many of them ran outside and said they were scared when they saw flames reaching the top of a house.

A local resident, who did not want to be named, said: “It was awful. I could just see the flames and this huge red smoke in the sky. It was scary.”

Another neighbour, who did not wish to be named, added: “There was a lot of smoke. It was quite bad,the flames reached the window at the top. By the time we went out the fire engines turned up. I was relieved when I saw the family was ok.”

The fire damaged the ground floor and the first floor of the house along with a car parked nearby while the caravan was completely destroyed by the flames.

A spokesman for Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service said two crews from Hightown and two from St Mary’s Fire Station were sent to the scene at 3.09am and left at 4.30am.

The owner of the caravan and the property declined to comment.

A spokesman for Hampshire police confirmed enquiries are ongoing and added: “We are investigating an incident in which a caravan was set alight outside a house on Brownlow Avenue, Southampton. This is being treated as arson and we believe it is linked to other incidents in the area.”

As previously reported, a caravan in Ludlow Road was 75 per cent damaged by the flames after a fire broke out at 1.48am on August 21.

One hour later emergency services were also called to another caravan fire in Ruby Road.

Investigations into the cause of the incidents are ongoing.

Another caravan fire took place in Upper Deacon Road on August 8 at around 5.30am.

Neighbour Karen Robinssaid: “I woke up and I thought what’s that noise? It sounded like heavy rain. I looked out the front window and that’s when I realised what it was. Some people might be sleeping in their caravan – they don’t know if there’s anybody inside. It really is a concern.”

Hampshire police were unable to provide a comment about this incident.

Southampton residents said they do not feel safe in the city after the spate of caravan fires.

Cllr David Shields, cabinet member for health and community safety at Southampton City Council, said: “There does seem to be a link but I don’t know what kind of link it is. We need to satisfy ourselves exactly what link it is so we can take action to protect the community. The other question is who did that. If anyone knows anything should be in touch with the police. People do not expect things like that in their neighbourhood. I’m not surprised they don’t feel safe and they need to be protected.The police have not contacted me for help but I’m here if they need me.”

Royston Smith MP for Southampton Itchen said: “It’s really traumatic for those involved and it’s worrying for people who have a caravan parked outside. It’s vital that if anyone knows anything about the perpetrator or perpetrators of these crimes gets in touch with the police.I will be contacting the police to ask what they are doing about it.”