AN ARSON investigation has been launched after a blaze destroyed a car just metres from where a family was sleeping.

Abdul Patel and his family were woken just before 2am yesterday when their silver Volkswagen Golf was engulfed in flames outside their home in Edge Hill Road, Daubhill.

The Golf was destroyed and a second car belonging to the Patel family, a Seat Alhambra, which Mr Patel uses for his work as a taxi driver, will also have to be written off.

The house’s CCTV cameras show a figure climbing over the wall into the gated front garden and lighting some form of spark under the front of the Golf.

Within 20 minutes a fire engulfed the car.

Mr Patel, aged 47, said things could have been a lot worse if the car was closer to the house.

He added: “My two-year-old son and my 84-year-old mother were both present at the time so who knows what might have happened if the house had caught fire.

“My wife was actually sleeping in the front room because we have guests and she saw the flames but if she had been in our room as normal then we might not have woken up and it may have spread.”

Mr Patel, who provides full-time care for his elderly mother, called firefighters and crews from Bolton Central who dealt with the blaze.

He said he believes he knows who set his car on fire.

He added: “We have had a number of incidents including someone letting my tyres down, using spray paint on my car and scratching it. Someone has also destroyed the keypad used to get into the property — I am sure this is all the same person and we know who that is.”

Police confirmed they had launched an arson investigation and the inquiries were ongoing.