When the firefighters arrived on Sunday, flames were already licking up the back wall of the coach house where the Volkswagen van was parked.

The fire spread to the rooftops, and two collapsed before the blaze was put out.

Neighbour Catherine Silvester was worried it was going to spread to her back garden.

“It was quite a horrific night,” she said. “I woke up and saw blue lights everywhere and my husband was missing.”

Her husband Kevin had been woken by the fire and, along with several other neighbours, called the emergency services. The couple’s 7-year-old son Connor hasn’t been able to sleep since.

“It was just quite frightening, it took a long time to put the fire out,” said Catherine.

“What they are speculating is there was petrol poured over the car.”

Firefighters threw rocks through upstairs windows so they could spray the insides with water.

Meanwhile, others attempted to extinguish the fire from above the properties.

Pete Woolley, whose front door was only yards away from the blaze in the cul-de-sac, said the fire was put out around 5am, but emergency services stayed all morning.

“They were just putting out the van fire when I saw a little red glow in the roof,” said the 43-year-old who had to move his car away from the danger.

“All this smoke started billowing out from the rooftop like a boiling kettle and then the roof just collapsed.”

This morning, Warwickshire County Council confirmed that all occupants of the four homes were now staying with family or friends.

According to neighbours, the two houses which suffered the most damage are both rented properties with new tenants who only moved in a few weeks ago.