Terrified neighbours feared their entire street could have been “blown to kingdom come” after an arson attack in Arbroath.
Police Scotland have said they are investigating following the incident on Sidney Street, which occurred in the early hours of Monday.
According to neighbours, a ground floor window at a block of flats had been doused in petrol and then set on fire.
One man said: “You can clearly see the blackened window where the fire was started and it’s right beside a gas pipe running up the outside of the building close to the window.
“I was told that petrol had been thrown at the window and then set on fire.
“If that had gone off we would all have been blown to kingdom come, the entire street could have been blown to smithereens.”
Neighbours living on Sidney Street and nearby Ernest Street said the incident kicked off in the early hours of Monday morning when police and the fire brigade crews were called to reports of “ongoing and sustained” trouble in a block of flats.
Police quickly cordoned off the area while fire officers tackled what they described as a “small fire” that was reported to them just before 1am.
The word “beast” had also been painted on the block with arrows pointing to another window of the same flat, which is boarded up.
It is understood that plant pots were also thrown at the windows and debris is still littering the pavement outside.
A door leading to the flat is blackened with smoke. It is not known if someone was inside the flat during the incident itself.
No one answered the door yesterday.
One neighbour said she heard shouting coming from the flat before the police arrived.
She said: “There were police everywhere and they were still there until around lunchtime.”
An upstairs neighbour said: “I looked outside on Sunday night and saw a fire that looked as if it was on the pavement. The fire brigade came and put it out.”
Another neighbour said: “This is a terrible area for drug dealers and there is always trouble around here.
“The block where the latest trouble was is notorious for drug dealers and addicts.”
Police remained at the scene for much of Monday with officers doing door to door inquiries later in the afternoon.
One man said: “A police woman came to my door and told me she was from some kind of enforcement agency.
“They were just asking people what they had seen happen at the flat and if anyone knew anything about what went on there.”
A spokeswoman for Police Scotland said: “Officers are carrying out inquiries after a fire and a vandalism were reported in the early hours of Monday morning October 5 which happened in Sidney Street in Arbroath.
“Anyone who knows who is responsible should contact Police Scotland on 101, quoting 0390 of Monday 5 October.”