POLICE are hunting an arsonist who broke into a Boscombe flat and started three fires.

Firefighters were called to Roumelia Lane shortly before 11.55pm last night after the blaze in the vacant property was spotted.

An investigation to track down the offender and establish a motive has been launched.

Detective Sergeant Andy Haworth, of Bournemouth CID, said: “Enquiries have revealed that there were three seats of fire inside the address. Thankfully the fire service extinguished the blaze quickly and no one was injured.

“This incident is being treated very seriously as had the fire spread to adjoining properties people’s lives would have been put in immediate and real danger.

“I am appealing to anyone who witnessed the incident, or who saw suspicious activity in the area of Roumelia Lane at the relevant time, to please contact Dorset Police.

“I would urge residents to remain vigilant to suspicious activity and report any immediate concerns to us.”

Firefighters based in Springbourne, Christchurch and Westbourne attended the fire.

Crews wearing breathing masks extinguished the fire using two hoses. The property was mechanically ventilated.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Dorset Police at dorset.police.uk or by calling 101, quoting occurrence number 555180006265.