A NEWPORT family spoke of their horror after waking up to find the hedge in their front garden had been set alight in the early hours of Saturday morning in a suspected arson attack.

Tom and Julia Welch, of Nash Road, Lliswerry, awoke to the smell of smoke.

“I woke up and the bedroom was glowing orange,” said Mr Welch, 32. "I smelt a bit of smoke so I woke my wife up and hopped out of bed.

"I saw out the window the hedge was on fire. I’ve never moved so fast in my life.

“My work van was parked out front which had paint thinners and oils in it, so I was afraid that would go up too.


“I went outside and moved my van out the way and then moved our car off the drive.

“The fire was spreading along the hedge towards the house. I couldn’t see the houses on the opposite side of the road over the flames.

“I then got the hose out while we waited for the fire brigade to arrive.

South Wales Argus:

(The aftermath of the blaze)

“They got here in about five minutes and put the fire out. The neighbours were all outside, and there was ash everywhere.”

Mr and Mrs Welch’s three-year-old daughter was asleep in the upstairs front bedroom while the fire spread towards the house.

“The fire brigade put it out before there was any serious damage,” said Mr Welch. “If we had woken up five or ten minutes later, it could have spread to the house or to next door.

“We were on our honeymoon a few weeks ago – what would have happened if this had happened then?

South Wales Argus:

(The previous owners of the house had been disabled)

“We have still got the sign out front where the previous owner had been disabled. Imagine if this had happened when they were still living there. They could’ve been trapped in there.”

A spokeswoman for South Wales Fire and Rescue Service said they were called to the incident at about 2.21am on Saturday and that the blaze is thought to have been started deliberately.

A crew from Maindee attended the scene and used a hose reel to extinguish the flames.

The fire was put out by 2.31am.