30 residents of Peterborough had to be evacuated from their homes late last night due to an arson attack which spread from bins to gas mains and then a house.

Fire and police officers were called out to a blaze at a house in Silver Hill, Hampton Hargate, at at about 12.20am today (Wednesday November 8).

It is believed the fire was deliberate and started in some bins in an alleyway which then spread to gas mains, resulting in the evacuation of about 30 people.

All except the occupants of the house which caught fire have since been able to return.

Inspector Sam Tucker, from Peterborough’s Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “Understandably, this is a concerning incident for the local community and we are aware of other incidents of deliberate bin fires in the area over the last month.

“While we are keeping an open mind, we cannot rule out that these incidents are not connected.

“We have got detectives investigating the arsons, as well as additional resources deployed in the area.

“I would urge anyone to report suspicious activity to us on 999, as well as checking any video doorbell footage and sharing anything concerning with us via our website.”

Anyone with information about any of the incidents should report to police online via the online reporting forms, web chat service or by calling 101 and quote incident 7 of 8 November.

Always dial 999 if a crime is in action or someone is in immediate danger.

Advice about how to best prevent arson can be found on the fire service’s dedicated arson prevention webpage.