A SOUTHAMPTON couple has escaped an arson attack which could have set their house ablaze as they slept.

Charlotte Ward and Ian Dawson were fast asleep at 3.30am on Thursday morning when Ian noticed something unusual.

Ian, 37, a light sleeper, was woken up when he sensed light coming through the windows of their house on Brownlow Avenue.

Charlotte, 32, and Ian opened the curtains and looked outside to see their wheelie bin ablaze and engulfed in 10ft flames.

They rushed out the front door to put out the fire which had managed to set light to stacks of cardboard boxes and building refuse.

Their neighbours had also been woken by the blaze, which together they spent 10 minutes fighting using a garden house.

Successfully tackling the blaze - which is being treated as arson by police - without the fire and rescue services, the couple’s bin was melted to “nothing” and scorched their front drive.

Lawyer Charlotte said: “I was scared when I opened the curtains. I don’t feel as safe in my house anymore and feel like we need security cameras.

“It was an upsetting incident. The house could have been set on fire and I feel lucky that it didn’t.

“It was right next to the car which could have gone up in flames.

“The whole street would have been able to see it. If anyone has any security footage or saw anything then please could they come forward.

A police spokesperson said: “We were called to reports of damage caused to wheelie bins which had been on fire in Brownlow Avenue.

“The incident which happened at around 3.45am on July 3 is being treated as arson and investigated.

“We are urging anyone with information about the fire to call us on 101, quoting 44190229891.”