POLICE are appealing for witnesses following a suspected arson in Lawford during the early hours of yesterday morning.

Officers were called shortly after 12.30am with reports a car had been set alight outside an address in Waldegrave Way.

No one was hurt during the fire.

A 28-year-old man from Colchester was arrested on suspicion of arson and he has been released under investigation.

During Friday night and whilst police were attending a nearby incident in Waldegrave Way, officers found a car thought to have been deliberately set on fire.

After officers checked that no one was inside the vehicle, they were forced back by the flames before any attempt to put out the fire could be made.

Firefighters from Manningtree Fire Station were then called to the scene at 12.46am after reports of the fire.

One fire engine attended and by 1.09am firefighters extinguished the blaze to prevent damage to nearby houses in the road.

The car however was severely damaged by the fire.

Essex Police said in a Facebook post an investigation was carried out by the fire crew’s incident commander who confirmed arson was the cause of the blaze.

Officers then undertook a short suspect search which failed.

So Vin the police dog was called in to help with the search.

An Essex Police spokesman said on Essex Police Tendring’s Facebook page: “Vin put his nose to the ground and after a short while an adult male from Waldegrave Way was arrested for arson and remains in custody.

“Full credit to Vinnie who gets a sausage from Harwich B shift for his help.

“Thankfully no one was hurt, however a family has lost their car 24 days before Christmas.

“Working with fire crews and the highly trained police dog Vin has seen a safe and quick arrest.”

Witnesses or anyone who witnessed any suspicious behaviour in the area around the time of the incident is asked to contact PC Benjamin Peter at Harwich Local Policing Team on 101.

Information can also be given completely anonymously to independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or online at crimestoppers-uk.org.