A PETROL-SOAKED rag was pushed through a letterbox and set alight, while a pensioner and a child was inside the house.

The incident happened at 5.30am on Saturday, in Broom Road, Partington.

The rag was soaked in petrol was pushed through the letter box. Petrol was then poured on the front door and set alight.

A 90-year-old woman, a nine-year-old boy and a 38-year-old man were inside the house at the time. All three people managed to escape and were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation

Detective Constable Jane Naylor of GMP’s Trafford Division described the attack as "cowardly and senseless".

She said: “This was a cowardly and senseless attack that could easily have led to loss of life.

“It’s unthinkable that someone would target a property in this way – let alone while a vulnerable elderly person and a child were inside.

“We are appealing for anyone who was in the area at the time to contact police.

“Did you see anything suspicious or have any information that can assist our enquires? If so , get in touch immediately.”

Information can be left with police on 0161 856 4081 or by calling the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.