A HOMELESS man threatened to kill a grandmother who died in an arson attack which claimed the lives of three generations of one family, it emerged today.

Kim Buckley, 46, daughter Kayleigh, 17, and six-month-old Kimberley all died when fire ripped through their home.

A murder investigation is under way with a large area cordoned off and officers making door-to-door inquiries.

Gwent Police have arrested a man, 27, from the Manchester area, on suspicion of murder.

Neighbours of the family have spoken of an unnamed "wild-looking’’ man who lived in a tent in a field close to the family of three's address.

He is known to have argued with Kim Buckley in the weeks before the blaze in which she died, threatening to kill her.

"Kim was a feisty person who wasn't about to let herself be pushed around by someone,’’ said friend Tania Brown, 26.

"But I know she did argue with the guy in question and he was later living in a tent in an open field which gives on to sheltered housing.

She said the field was also close to where Mrs Buckley and her daughter and granddaughter lived.

"What she said was that the guy had threatened to kill her. This was perhaps a couple of months ago. She seemed angry more than anything. I didn't really pay that much attention at the time.’’

Terena Mellor, 26, another friend of grandmother Mrs Buckley, paid tribute to her: "She was a character, very loud and fun-loving. If she saw you on the other side of the road she would have shouted out your name and asked you how you were.’’

She said that she believed daughter Kayleigh had been pregnant with twin daughters but had tragically lost one in birth.

The surviving daughter, Kimberley, had only recently been allowed home after spending time in intensive care at the Royal Gwent Hospital, in Newport.

She added: "This is such a tragedy. Kim and Kayleigh were very close and this should have been a happy time for everyone in the family. It is difficult to believe what has happened.’’ Others in the community spoke of their "utter shock’’ at learning what had happened on the close-knit Cwmbran estate overnight.

Police have thanked the community for the co-operation they have so far received in their on-going investigations.

Chief Inspector Steve Corcoran, Local Policing Inspector, said: "This is a tragic incident that involved three generations of the same family and our condolences are with the family of the victims.

"We would ask, on their behalf, for them to be left alone to grieve at this time. Our family liaison officers are supporting them at this dreadful time.

"This has affected the wider community. They were well known within the community and their loss will be keenly felt and they will be missed. We are grateful for the co-operation of the community at this awful time.

"We are working with partners to ensure that all those affected will be given support.

"Our officers will remain at the scene for anyone who wants to speak to them, anyone who has any concerns or any information about this incident, specifically anyone who heard or saw anything suspicious leading up to the fire, people can also call us on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.’’