Police have today released CCTV of an arson attack on a BP service station in Trafalgar Road, Greenwich, south-east London, in an attempt to trace the perpetrator.

The arsonist walked onto the forecourt at 6.30am on September 30, pulled out a nozzle from the unleaded pump and squeezed the trigger for several seconds. He then pulled a lighter from his coat pocket and set the puddle of fuel ablaze.

The CCTV shows other customers rushing for cover as it burst into flame, and the arsonist running off. A customer then tackles the fire with an extinguisher and manages to extinguish it.

Detective constable Karl Buckwell of Greenwich CID said: “This was an incredibly dangerous and reckless thing to do - there were cars and people filling up in the petrol station. The petrol station is surrounded by flats and is located on a very busy road.

“We believe that the person seen setting the fire in the footage would have been caught in it and may have burnt his eyebrows as well as his hair. Anyone who knows his identity should get in touch with police as soon as possible.”

Anyone with information can call DC Buckwell at Greenwich CID on 020 8284 9416 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.