SHOUTS from a watchful neighbour saved the sleeping occupants of a Helensburgh property after a firebug tried to torch their home.

Emergency services went to a house in the town’s Williamson Drive at 3.30am on Saturday, July 15 after receiving a report that the front door of the property was on fire.

Two people were asleep inside in the property at the time but neither was injured.

They were alerted by the shouts of a neighbour who told them to get out because their house was on fire.

The occupants managed to escape without being hurt.

When emergency services arrived at the scene they discovered a minor fire at the property and smoke damage to the front door.

Police Scotland have launched an investigation and are treating the incident as wilful fireraising. 

Officers are continuing to carry out door-to-door enquiries.

Police say they do not believe Saturday’s attack bore any similarities to the fire which killed three members of a Helensburgh family at a house in the town in 2011.

Thomas Sharkey senior, his son Thomas junior and his eight-year-old daughter Bridget died in the targeted attack which saw petrol poured through the letter box of their family flat in Scott Court.

Scott Snowden and his accomplice Robert Jennings were both jailed for life for the triple murder. 

Snowden, now aged 41, was ordered to serve a minimum of 33 years in prison, while Jennings, now 54, will be behind bars for at least 29 years.

Snowden, from Balloch, was also convicted of attempting to murder Angela Sharkey, who survived the horrific attack.

Referring to Saturday’s attack, Inspector Ewan Wilson from Helensburgh police office said: “There have been fires elsewhere in the area, but we do not believe they are linked. 

“At this stage we don’t know whether this was a specific, targeted attack, nor do we know the reason for it, but we are appealing for anyone with information to get in touch.

“We do not believe there are any links between this incident and historical crimes in Helensburgh.”

Helensburgh Central councillor Graham Hardie said: “This is an unfortunate incident but generally the community safety in Helensburgh is of the highest standard due mainly to a dexterous standard of local policing.” 

Anyone with information on the Williamson Drive fire is asked to contact CID officers in Helensburgh Police office via 101 quoting incident number 0819 of July 15.

People can also call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.