POLICE are treating a car fire in which a woman and two young children suffered severe injuries as attempted murder.

Hampshire Constabulary confirmed today that detectives are continuing to investigate the cause of the fire in Merdon Castle Lane, Hursley, on Monday evening.

As reported, a 37-year-old woman and her two children, a six-year-old girl and a five-year-old boy, all from Southampton, were rescued from the fire and taken to hospital.

The boy is being treated for life-threatening injuries and the woman and girl are currently in a serious condition.

Det Insp Simon Baker, from the Hampshire Major Investigation Team, said today: “This is an extremely distressing incident for everyone involved. Our thoughts are with the family and friends of those who have been seriously injured and specially trained officers are continuing to support them at this difficult time.

“This is now being treated as an attempted murder investigation. Our priority is to establish how this fire started. We are keeping an open mind and considering all the options at this stage including whether the fire was started deliberately.

“We also have to take into consideration that the people involved are all being treated in hospital and we have to balance our investigation with their medical needs, so establishing the full circumstances of what has happened may take some time.

“Our enquiries so far indicate that this was not a random incident and we are satisfied that we have identified all of those involved in the investigation.

“Road closures have now been lifted at the scene of the fire and we would like to thank members of the public for their patience and understanding.”