By Cara Sulieman
A HOODED arsonist is being hunted after setting fire to a £22,000 Jaguar sports car parked just feet away from the home of an elderly couple.
Kenneth McIlroy, 52, who owns the car, needed oxygen on the scene after suffering from shock as he watched his “pride and joy” engulfed in flames.
A firebomber smashed the car window before dropping in a bottle of flammable liquid and setting it alight.
Neighbours said they saw a hooded suspect run down the street before getting into another car that screeched off.
The heat from the fire caused the window of an elderly couple to shatter as two explosions rocked the street at Broomside Terrace in Carrick Knowe, Edinburgh.
Kenneth said that it was lucky that the neighbours, in their 70s, were away on holiday as the fire could have spread and proved fatal.
But he has no idea why someone would want to target his seven-year-old Jaguar X-type.
He said it may have something to do with his 17-year-old son, Calvin, but he couldn’t think why that might be.
Kenneth said: “I had gone to bed about 11pm but woke up when I got a text message from a friend. I heard a car window smash and wondered what was happening.
“Then I heard my car alarm go off and went to the front window. Below me, I could see smoke.
“The firefighters managed to get it under control, but my neighbours’ window had already broken and the side of the house was burned.
“When one of the firefighters saw me, they said I was in shock and gave me oxygen through a mask in the fire engine.
“One of my neighbours said they saw a hooded man run away then a car accelerating off.”
CID detectives, uniformed officers and a forensic team arrived after the attack that happened at 2.15am on Wednesday, and stayed until 5am investigating the scene and speaking to neighbours.
Kenneth said: “It seems they broke the window then they dropped something flammable inside. I saw the forensic officers put the broken neck of a bottle in a bag to take away so there may have been petrol or paraffin or something in that.
“I’ve got no idea why someone would do this. I’ve only lived in the street for three or four months and only a few people know I stay here now.
“They might be someone who knows my son, as he stays sometimes, but I have no idea why.
“It might just be someone who saw a nice car sitting there and decided to destroy it. It’s my pride and joy so it was a real shock.”
One neighbour, who did not want to be named, said: “When I came outside massive flames were coming out of the car. There were two loud bangs, which must’ve been the petrol tank exploding.
“It’s frightening that something like that could happen in our street. I didn’t sleep the rest of the night.”
A Lothian and Borders Police spokesman said: “Police responded to an address in Broomside Terrace at around 2.15am yesterday following reports of a car on fire.
“No-one was injured. However, the vehicle sustained extensive fire damage. Flames also caused damage to the window frame of a residential property.
“The fire is being treated as suspicious and anyone with information should contact police.”