Durban - Five members of a Durban, family escaped through a small window in their home after their eldest son allegedly set fire to the building, locked the gates and ran off with the key.

Police spokesman Captain Thulani Zwane confirmed that a case of arson had been lodged at the Cato Manor police station.

The 16-year-old, who cannot be named because he is a minor, is believed to have ignited the three-bedroomed home early on Friday

by setting fire to a curtain in the lounge, according to his father, who also cannot be named.

The boy is now in the care of his mother in Sydenham and was suspected to have been using drugs, but his father said he had no knowledge of this.

A relative said the boy was likely to have been under the influence of drugs.

He said the police should have charged the teen with five cases of attempted murder as well, because he had “intentionally locked the gate and ran away with the keys”.

The teen’s father said the five relatives in the house at the time of the incident were himself, his wife, his younger son, his one-year-old daughter and a niece.

The family escaped without injury, but the home was destroyed along with furniture and clothing.

The teen’s father said he probably acted in rage after he had tried to get him sent to Boys Town on Thursday.

“I think it was out of anger. On Thursday I had chased him out the house after he destroyed all the windows.

“I went to the police and asked to get him sent to Boys Town, but they could not help,” he said.

He said the police told him he had to be in his care because he was a minor.

The teen’s uncle said they suspected the boy had used thinners and that the attack was premeditated. - Daily News