POLICE and fire officials were last night investigating an arson attack at a Darlington home.

Officers believe that a substance was poured through the letter box of the house in Willow Road, in the Denes area of the town, and set alight causing damage to the door and hallway.

A fire investigation team from County Durham and Darlington Fire Brigade and police officers in Darlington are investigating the incident.

Two fire crews from red watch and an ambulance crew attended the fire at about 12.40am yesterday.

Four firefighters with breathing equipment conducted a search of the property. Nobody was hurt in the incident.

A brigade spokesman was unable to confirm last night if anyone had to be rescued from the property. He said: "This could have been a potentially fatal fire. Like a lot of houses in the Denes the front door may have been the only means of escape.

"Occasionally we do get incidents where people push things through letter boxes on their way home from the pub.

"It appears it was a deliberate attack and we are investigating."

About £500 worth of damage was caused to the property.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact Darlington police on (01325) 467681.