A "TERRIFYING" fire that ripped through a house is being treated as arson, the emergency services have confirmed.

A blaze previously broke out at a "vacant" semi-detached house on Coronation Way in Kidderminster, with neighbouring residents evacuated.

Charity worker Peter Cooper, aged 67, lives next door with his family and says he can still smell smoke from the fire, which happened more than two weeks ago.

Sharing his horror, he said: "I was sitting looking at my computer. I was about to go to bed and we smelled burning which I thought originally may have been a plug fuse.

"Someone knocked and told us the house next door was on fire. We then dialled 999 but several of our neighbours already had.

"It was terrifying, and the high winds had blown the smoke across the top of the house.

"It was more than two weeks ago but I can still smell it. There may be some damage to the roof".

Mr Cooper lives with his wife Audrey, aged 67, who has asthma, and their two sons Phil, aged 44, and Simon, aged 40, who has a respiratory condition.

After conducting an investigation, Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service said the fire is believed to have been started deliberately.

A fire brigade spokesperson said: "Three Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service crews – two from Wyre Forest and one from Bromsgrove Fire Stations – were called at 22:28 on 21 January to a house fire with persons reported in Coronation Way, Kidderminster.

"The fire was on the first floor of a semi-detached property and adjacent property roof space.

"The property was believed to be vacant with residents evacuated from neighbouring properties.

"The fire was fought by two firefighters wearing breathing apparatus with two hosereel jets and a covering jet in use".

"A fire investigation took place with the fire believed to have been deliberately started".

West Midlands Ambulance Service said: "An ambulance and a paramedic officer were sent to the scene where, on arrival, crews found one patient, a woman, from a neighbouring property requiring assessment.

"She was not injured and was given self-care advice before being discharged at the scene".

A West Mercia Police spokesperson added that the incident is being treated as arson and an investigation is ongoing.