PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A mother and her young son were sleeping inside their home as two men tried to set it on fire in West Oak Lane, early Saturday morning. Surveillance video captured the suspects pouring a flammable liquid on a home and tossing a Molotov cocktail on the 7400 block of Rugby Street, shortly before 4:30 a.m.
Philadelphia police are asking for the public’s help in identifying the two men.
“This could’ve been a catastrophic outcome,” Philadelphia Police Staff Inspector Sekou Kinebrew said.
Police say the suspects twice poured flammable liquid on the back of the row home, before throwing a Molotov cocktail on it, which set the area on fire.
Police say the woman’s fire alarm woke her up and that’s when she noticed the fire outside of her air conditioning unit.
She and her son were not harmed as they left the home.
“We’re hoping today, by the images that we release today, that someone would, if they don’t know them personally, would know what geography they hang their hats,” Kinebrew said.
One of the suspects is being described by officials as a black male with a thin build, in his late 30s or early 40s, wearing a hooded sweatshirt.
The second suspect is being described as a black male with facial hair in his mid-20s, wearing a hooded sweatshirt.
The woman who lives at the house says she does not recognize the two men.
“It’s just a shame that someone would do that in there with a woman in there with her child,” neighbor Joyce Carter said.
Neighbors say the female victim has a son around 8 years old.
“She’s not a person that makes a lot of noise or basically causes a problem with anyone for something like that. Especially this is a nice, quiet neighborhood, like everybody knows everybody, so we’re totally shocked about this,” Harry Tender said.
Tender called the brazen act disturbing.
“It also tells you what type of world we live in now, where you have to say, ‘OK, I’m going to burn somebody’s house down because of hatred I have towards you.’ It’s something that should not be happening,” he said.
If you have any information on this incident or recognize the suspects, contact Philadelphia police at 215-686-8477.