A BURGLAR who set fire to a cushion after ransacking a flat in Poole is being sought by police.

Three fire crews were sent to the property in South Road last Wednesday to tackle the blaze which was started in the lounge.

Now officers are appealing for witnesses and anyone with information to come forward after the burglary and arson.

It took place sometime between 11am and 1pm on January 29 when offenders gained entry to the ground floor flat and set fire to a sofa cushion before leaving, causing extensive damage.

The elderly occupant of the flat was out at the time attending a hospital appointment and no-one was injured.

Det Con Tony Dunkerley of Poole police said: “Arson is extremely reckless and can cause additional serious damage by spreading to adjacent properties.

“This was distressing for the victim to return home to.

“There is no indication to how entry was gained, but the victim was sure the property was secure.

“I would urge witnesses, anyone with information about those responsible and anyone who saw any suspicious activity in the area to come forward.”

He added: “I would also like to hear from anyone who has taken footage of the incident including when the Fire and Rescue service attended as they may be able to assist with our investigation.

“I would like to remind occupants to make sure that they lock windows and doors properly.”

Stephen Broad, incident commander stressed the importance of having working smoke alarms.

“One resident smelt smoke and then heard the smoke alarms, before calling ‘999’,” he said.

Witnesses and anyone with information can call Dorset Police on 101 quoting incident 29:213 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.