Shocking video footage shows a blaze raging after two alleged burglars firebombed a home with a child inside when a housesitter forced them to run off with just £65 in change.
The pair had seen on social media that the owner of the home in Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire, was on holiday and allegedly hatched a plan to break in.
But they were forced to run off with £65 after they realised 24-year-old Amy Wolfenden was housesitting.
She had just put her four-year-old son Leo to sleep when a man allegedly burst through the back door and shouted ‘shut the f*** up and don’t move’.
Video footage from next door showed the hooded gang walk up the driveway and start a fire after leaving the property with just £65 in change
Smoke could be seen outside the property in West Yorkshire and a baby was inside the house at the time
The young mother believes the youths were shocked to find somebody home because the owner had ‘posted all over Facebook she was going on holiday’.
Next-door neighbour Callum Stoddart, 22, rushed over to help Ms Wolfenden fix the broken back door when the gang returned to the front of the property and allegedly started a fire outside the front.
Terrifying footage show the masked men allegedly start the fire, fleeing as large flames begin to lick up the front of the house.
Mr Stoddart had to battle the fire before police and fire services arrived on November 22.
Ms Wolfenden said she was ‘shaking’ with fear while her son Leo was ‘screaming upstairs’ as plumes of smoke began to consume the property.
Mr Stoddart’s partner Savannah Thompson speculated that the thugs had been targeting puppies that were in the house but were dismayed to have fled the raid with only £65 in a jar of change.
Ms Wolfenden said: ‘I was absolutely shaking. I mean, who even does that?
‘When they broke in I had my little boy with me – he was upstairs. Obviously, I didn’t know the half of it and only found out about the fire later.
‘I put Leo to bed at about 8 o’clock. People later told me that they heard a bang after but I didn’t hear it inside.
‘Then there was a man stood there in the doorway. He just said “shut the f*** up and don’t move”.
‘I could hear Leo screaming upstairs and the man just grabbed the change jar. I just turned around and ran upstairs to find Leo after he left.
‘I was just absolutely shaking. But you’re more shocked in that situation, aren’t you? Now I can’t sleep properly and I’m going to have to go to the doctors to get sleeping tablets.
‘I don’t know what they were after. It might have been the dogs, it could have been the car. They might have been after the keys.
‘After they’d gone I remember I was upstairs and the house just started filling with smoke – I think I might have heard someone say “fire” but I wasn’t really paying attention.
Amy Wolfenden had just put her son Leo (pictured together, left) when the gang of yobs allegedly burst through the door. Next-door neighbour Callum Stoddart (pictured with his partner Savannah Thomson, right) ran over to help
The youths were pictured walking away from the property after allegedly starting a fire outside the front of the property
‘The police told me the front door would be boarded up and ten minutes later the fire service came.’
Mr Stoddart and his 21-year-old partner say they were lucky to put the fire out so quickly, not least since their nine-month-old son Finley was asleep in their house next door.
Ms Thomson said: ‘They’re just low lives, whoever did this. There was just smoke everywhere. I was just so p***** off, but also really angry and scared at the same time.
‘In setting fire to the house, I think they just thought “f*** off” really. They didn’t expect anybody to be in the house so it was probably them showing their anger at being caught out.
‘Our neighbour had posted on social media that she was going on holiday – so I think those lads expected the house to be empty.
‘I think they were after her puppies. They were in a cage at the back, and they’re worth several hundred pounds per puppy.
Two youths were seen walking up to the house where Ms Wolfenden was housesitting with her four-year-old son
‘So, to say they made off with just a £65 jar of cash, I understand why they’d be annoyed.
‘Perhaps the attempt to set fire to the house was an effort to draw police and the people in the house to the front so they could steal the puppies at the back – I really don’t know.’
She added: ‘My nine-month old son was asleep upstairs and I was just scared for him. I didn’t want the smoke going upstairs where he was sleeping.’
Mr Stoddart added: ‘I reckon it was a petrol bomb. There was just smoke everywhere and we’re all lucky to be alive.
‘I remember looking and just seeing the flames shooting through the door. The police officers said to me they’d never seen anything like it.
Mr Stoddart’s partner Savannah Thompson (picturedspeculated that the thugs had been targeting puppies that were in the house
‘After fixing my neighbour’s back door, I went around the front, hammer in hand, to try and put out the fire.
‘I think by the look of it they were aiming the fire at the doors but they caught the bushes. I just can’t help but think the whole thing could have been a lot worse.
‘If that would have occurred at two o’clock in the morning it would have been a completely different story. If there had been no police there already, responding to the robbery, I’d dread to think.
‘Those lads broke into her house and threatened her, and made off with a change pot.’
A spokesperson for West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service said: ‘We attended an incident on November 22. We have the start time for the incident at 9.25pm.
‘Cleckheaton and Odsal crews attended.’
A West Yorkshire Police spokesperson said: ‘Police are investigating reports of a burglary in Cleckheaton.
‘During the incident, a jar containing cash was taken from the property after the suspect confronted the occupant.
‘While officers were at the scene, a shrub at the front of the property was set alight. Firefighters managed to contain the fire which did not spread.
‘No one was injured during the incident.’