A man has told of the horrifying moment he woke up to find three smoke grenades had been thrown into his Moulsecoomb home.
Dave Farnham, 48, was in bed shortly before 7am yesterday when he heard a loud bang and saw flashing outside his window.
He raced downstairs and discovered two smoke grenades had been thrown into his hall and one into his kitchen, in Eastbourne Road, Moulsecoomb, Brighton.
It is believed the grenades were the kind used in paintballing games which can be bought legally.
Mr Farnham said: “I woke up and there was a flash. The hall was suddenly full of smoke and I couldn't see anything. It was so vivid and very frightening.
“Neighbours were banging on the wall and door and screaming, ‘Your house is on fire’.
“It was awful – the house could have easily caught fire.”
Mr Farnham, who upcycles furniture for a living, pulled a scarf over his mouth and felt his way to the phone.
He called 999 and the police, paramedics and fire service arrived within minutes.
Two women in the house, a 40-year-old and 69-year-old, were treated for smoke inhalation.
Mr Farnham, who said the police believed the attack to have been deliberate, added: “The police said they were baffled. The officers had 27 and seven years in the force and said they had no knowledge of anything like this happening before.”
A Sussex Police spokesman confirmed: “We received a report that three smoke devices had been thrown in through the open back doorway of an address. Firefighters attended and ensured the address was fully ventilated before leaving.
“There was no fire and no report of damage. An ambulance crew treated the three occupants at the scene for effects of smoke inhalation.”
“At this early stage in the investigation the motive for this incident is not known.”
A South East Coast Ambulance spokesman added: “We were called to the scene at approximately 7.25am to reports two female patients may have suffered smoke inhalation.
“They were checked at the scene but did not require treatment.”