A woman and her child were targeted in a “sickening attack” after their flat was deliberately set on fire in Greenock.
Emergency crews were called to a blaze within a block of flats on Wellington Street shortly after 11pm on Wednesday.
The fire is believed to have been started by an accelerant thrown through a flat window.
A 40-year-old woman suffered serious injuries and was taken to hospital for treatment, where she remains in a stable condition.
A nine-year-old girl, who was also within the property at the time of the attack, was uninjured.
Firefighters extinguished the blaze but substantial damage was caused to the property.
Residents living in the same block of flats had to be evacuated for a number of hours before being able to return to their homes.
Officers are now looking to trace occupants of a stolen white Suzuki Splash which was later found burnt out near the incident.
Detective inspector David Wagstaff of Greenock CID said: “This was a sickening, unprovoked attack which targeted a woman and her child whilst they were in their home.
“There will be those within the community that will know who is responsible and I would encourage you to please do the right thing and come forward with information.
“From our enquiries, we know that a small white vehicle was in the area at the time of the incident and it was seen to drive off at speed after the attack in the direction of the junction of Wellington Street and Duncan Street.
“If you saw this vehicle or possibly have CCTV or dashcam footage you can review, I would urge you please do so and contact us if you have any information.
“Around ten minutes later a white Suzuki Splash, with registration number GK14 FZE, was driven into Skye Street in Greenock at speed.
“Three men got out of the car and ran off down Skye Street and into Rankine Street.
“They are all described as being in their late teens and of skinny builds. The driver was wearing a black scarf covering the lower part of his face and a black zipped hooded top.”
Insp Wagstaff added: “We received reports of the same white Suzuki Splash on fire around 2.20am on Thursday in Skye Street.
“This vehicle was reported stolen from Denholm Terrace in Greenock in the early hours of Wednesday.
“We are investigating whether the Suzuki Splash, parked and later burnt out in Skye Street, is involved in the fire on Wellington Street.
“If anyone has any information around the initial theft of the Suzuki Splash around 4.30am on Wednesday or has information as to where it was before it was parked on Skye Street just after 11pm on Wednesday, I would urge you to please get in touch.
“Likewise if anyone saw a small white vehicle being driven to or away from Wellington Street in Greenock around 11pm on Wednesday, I would again encourage you to contact us as soon as possible.
“Whilst investigations are ongoing, additional police patrols will be carried out in various areas of Inverclyde. I would like to reassure the community that whilst this incident was unprovoked, there is not believed to be any risk to the wider public.”
Anyone with information should contact police on 101 quoting reference number 4105 of Wednesday, September 16. Alternatively, if you would prefer to remain anonymous, you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.