A family have escaped from their home in Ballymena following an arson attack which is being treated as a racially-motivated hate crime.
A tyre was placed against the front door of the property on Larne Street and set alight in the early hours of Friday morning.
One of the occupants raised the alarm at around 12.45am after smelling smoke.
It meant they were able to wake other family members and escape from the back of the house.
The PSNI has confirmed the incident is being treated as a “racially motivated hate crime” and warned people could have died.
“Fortunately one of the occupants smelt smoke and alerted the other members of his family who were asleep at the time and they were able to escape from the rear door of the house,” a spokesperson said.
“Substantial damage was caused to the front door and hallway area with further smoke damage caused throughout the house.”
Detective Inspector Lenaghan condemned the attack as “disgraceful”.
“We are treating it as arson with intent to endanger life and a racially motivated hate crime at this time,” they said.
“It is truly shocking that someone would set fire to a house with six people inside without a care for their welfare.
“I am appealing to anyone with any information to contact police immediately.
“I would also ask anyone who was driving in the area at the time of the incident and who has dash-cam footage which could assist with our investigation to come forward.
“Detectives in Ballymena can be contacted on the non-emergency number 101, quoting reference number 50 08/07/22.”