POLICE have renewed their appeal for witnesses and information following a fire in Abbeydale, Redditch, on Saturday, August 23.

An arson inquiry has begun following the incident on Johnson Close that caused three bungalows to catch fire and a number of elderly and vulnerable residents to be evacuated.

The incident was reported to emergency services at around 3am on Saturday and was attended by the fire brigade, police officers and the ambulance service.

Detective Sergeant Nick Husbands confirmed that officers are looking at other fires in the area in the past few weeks to establish if there is any connection.

He said: "This is a serious matter that could easily have had tragic consequences. Fortunately nobody was injured but the loss of the residents’ homes and personal property makes this a very serious incident.

"We are aware of other fires in the area over the past few weeks and these incidents will be reviewed as part of this investigation."

Inspector Rebecca Love, district inspector for Redditch, said: "While incidents this serious are very rare, they have a big impact on the community. I would like to reassure people we are making extra officers available to investigate this incident and provide high visibility patrols in area.

"These bungalows are not far from the town centre and anyone returning home to the Abbeydale area late Friday evening into the early hours of Saturday morning may have information vital to this investigation. I would encourage anyone who may have seen anything to contact us."

Anyone with information can call 101 and quote reference OIS 98-S-230814. Information can also be provided anonymously to CrimeStoppers on 0800 555 111 or at www.crimestoppers-uk.org