A granny of five said she feared burying her grandchildren and her daughter after a petrol bomb attack on their Canterbury Park home on Tuesday night.
The family say they believe the attack is sectarian.
The single petrol bomb attack occcured at 1am as the family slept in their Kilfennan home.
The attack is the third suffered by single mother Tracy McGrory who has lived lived in the area for the last five years.
She told the Journal; “The house was paint bombed in November and again in the mouth of Christmas but we just hoped it would go away. Now we are sure it won’t go away. The children are terrified. I’m terrified, I don’t know if someone is actually trying to kill us but we can’t take the chance. The children don’t want to come home. I don’t know what I am going to do now.”
The house still bears the stains of the paint bomb attacks.
“A petrol bomb is an entirely different ball game to a paint bomb.”
Tracey’s mother Marion said: “We are all just very shook up. The kids don’t want to come back home It is all very sinister to say the least.
“The only reason we can think of for the attack is that they are Catholics living in the Waterside.”
The children Carolanne, 20, Jamie, 17, Shannon, 16, Amy, 14 and Ben, 11 were awoken to the sound of a loud bang shortly before 1am.
Their mother thought the family car was on fire and though they tried to escape downstairs, such was the heat of the flames by the front door, they were forced backwards.
“If it hadn’t been for the help of a neighbour who extinguished the flames I don’t know what might have happened,” said Tracy.
“The thing is we keep ourselves to ourselves, the kids don’t even wear their school uniforms out in the street. We are just in despair after this,” said the visibily emotional mother.
Waterside Sinn Féin councillor Lynn Fleming condemned the petrol bomb attack.
Colr. Fleming, who accompanied the family to the Housing Executive to be rehoused, said: “We are dealing with an attack with a lethal weapon here. It was a deliberate attack on a single parent with five children. The PSNI are in no doubt that this was a sectarian attack. It does not bear thinking about what could have happened in this case if the house had gone on fire.
“This had to be condemned by everyone in the city and anyone with information on this attack should get in touch with the PSNI.”
The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service confirmed one fire appliance attended the scene but the blaze had been extinguished by the time of their arrival and no action required.