Hero father battles arson attack flames

jpco-22-1-14-Man put out fire at his neighbour's house (Pic by Jon Rigby)
jpco-22-1-14-Man put out fire at his neighbour's house (Pic by Jon Rigby)

A father came to the rescue when his neighbour’s door was doused in petrol and set alight while an elderly couple slept inside.

Marcin Gardziala, 34, of Wayside, Ifield, was in his kitchen when he saw flames coming from his neighbours’ house just before midnight on Monday last week(January 13).

He said: “I opened the window and saw fire everywhere.

“The flames were three meters high and all the front of the building was burnt.

“I jumped straight up, took some pots with water and went outside and tried to extinguish it. It wasn’t easy as there was some petrol or something.

“With the water hitting it, it was exploding again, again, and again.

“Everything was moving so quickly.”

Marcin said the elderly couple who live in the house were asleep inside.

He said: “I knocked on the door and window and they came down and were really shocked.”

The door was left blackened by the smoke but little other damage was caused.

Marcin’s wife Deada saw her husband’s heroic actions.

She said: “I was very happy that he saw something. I think he came at a good moment because it was not too much [damage].

“We didn’t know if they could hear because they were asleep in a bedroom on the other side of the house.

“They are a very good neighbour. They are so nice.

“I don’t know anyone who would do something wrong to this neighbour.”

Marcin and Deada have two sons aged four and eight.

Deada added: “It makes me nervous because I have two children and maybe next time some body will do it to my door.”

Sussex Police is appealing for witnesses to the incident.

DC Phil Peadon said: “One of the terraced houses in Wayside, Ifield, was attacked shortly after 11.30pm on Monday but the fire was quickly extinguished by a neighbour.

“I would ask anyone who saw anyone acting suspiciously in the area that evening or has information in relation to the incident to contact police on 101 quoting serial 1459 13/1 or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 08000 555 111.”