Two Catholic families have been forced to abandon their homes in the Whitewell area of north Belfast following a suspected loyalist arson attack early this morning.
An oil tank was set alight behind one of the houses in the mainly nationalist Old Throne Park development at around 1am.
The blaze spread to two neighbouring tanks and the flames quickly engulfed two homes and damaged several cars.
Two families were forced to flee and one man was treated for the effects of smoke inhalation.
Local residents have blamed loyalist for the fire.
Tensions have been rising in the area for many years, with loyalists from nearby White City resenting the fact that nationalists have been moving into new homes in the locality.