Published: 12:09, 22 October 2021
| Updated: 12:10, 22 October 2021
A family have been left reeling after their car was torched and garage severely damaged in a suspected arson attack.
The family of seven have been forced to count the cost after insurance refused to pay out for the ruined vehicle following the suspicious fire in Ashford.
Scott Binge said that he, his fiancé and his five children were all sleeping in their Cressfield home when the attack took place, completely torching his neighbour's garage, severely damaging his own lock-up, and destroying his blue Vauxhall Zafira.
He said: "I'm still not sure myself exactly what happened, but there was a mattress and car tyre leaning against the plastic garage door, my car was two feet away from the garage so I believe the mattress was set alight and the fire just spread.
"I only became aware of the damage when I went to do the school run because I'm such a deep sleeper. My fiancé was woken up by a few bangs but didn't wake me as she didn't want me to go down there.
"We are now completely stuck now as the insurance won't pay out as they say my excess is higher than the car's worth, and I can't claim on the excess unless someone is found and convicted of the crime".
The 32-year-old, who along with his fiancé welcomed their fifth child just four weeks ago, is now unable to get to work without transport or take their children to school.
Their garage – adjacent to the worst hit lock-up – was also severely damaged, while numerous belongings in the car including clothes, children's toys and a brand new car seat were also destroyed.
"It's an impossible situation, the school run is hard enough with four kids under 10, plus my eight-year-old daughter has disabilities and relies on the car to get around," he explained.
"It is terrifying to think how much worse it could have been, the garage backs onto our house so the fire could have easily spread to there.
"With a newborn in the house and me being a heavy sleeper, it could have been a very different situation".
The family have laucnhed a gofundme to raise funds for a new car to help Mr Binge get back to work and for their children to get to school more easily.
You can donate to the fundraiser by clicking here.
Police are continuing to investigate the suspected arson, which took place at 3am on Monday, and are appealing for information from the public.
Anyone with information regarding the suspicious fire, or who has private CCTV or dashcam in the area, should call Kent Police on 01843 222289 quoting 46/209459/21 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 or complete the online form.