ARSONISTS have left a childminder and her children fearing for her safety following an attack on their home.

Neighbours raised the alarm and woke Moorin Babawale and her children at the home in Bostocke Close, Laindon, after spotting flames coming from a large shed in the garden.

They banged on the door to make sure the house was evacuated as firefighters raced to the scene to stop the flames spreading.

Police are investigating but initial reports suggest a gang of yobs broke into the garden and set the shed on fire at 7.26pm on Saturday.

It contained toys and equipment connected to her business worth thousands of pounds.

She said: “We had gone to bed early and suddenly people were shouting that our house was on fire.

“We rushed downstairs and there were huge flames everywhere.

“I am a childminder and had all my equipment in the shed which has all gone.

“We think we know who has done it.

“I think it had been going for about an hour when I called 999.

“I was in so much shock that I couldn’t even dial 999, it was like I had forgotten how to do it.

“We think they set it on fire and closed the door quickly.

“I have two boys and they are very shaken, they are seven and five-years-old, and they are feeling very scared.”

She said her sons got new bikes for Christmas and now they are gone.

She added she started to build the garden structure with a close neighbour who died during the project so it became very sentimental to her.

She said: “When we saw the flames it was very scary.

“It could have spread into the house and smashed all our windows.

“We had police officers stay on guard outside our home all night as we were concerned the people who did this could come back. We couldn’t sleep at all. We have had other issues in the past here, my car was damaged and someone sprayed graffiti all over our walls, so this is the latest incident.

“It is just so awful, they could have put something through the letterbox.”

She said she cannot work as all her equipment has been destroyed.

Some of the items lost in the blaze included a piano, speakers and various toys and games.

Neighbours have been checking on the family since the fire and offering support.

Fire crews and police rushed to the housing estate following a number of calls from concerned residents living nearby.

Essex Fire and Rescue Service attended and extinguished the fire by 7.50pm.

Essex Police and the fire service are investigating the cause of the fire, which has not yet been officially determined however it is expected to be recorded as deliberate.