Family of four pulled from ‘deliberate’ flat blaze as Manchester firefighters hunt arsonist who left them trapped

By Dean Wilkins

A shaken family are recovering after being rescued from a fire at a home in Manchester, which police believed was started by a group of arsonists.

A 75-year-old woman, two children aged three and eight, and a 28-year-old man were inside the first floor flat on Chepstow Avenue, Sale, when the blaze erupted at around 5.45pm yesterday.

Emergency services were called to the incident, which is thought to have been started by an offender, or offenders, outside the front door and had to pull all four members out of the burning flat.

The family were not injured but have been left traumatised.

Detective Inspector Debbie Oakes, of Trafford CID, said: “Thankfully no one was seriously injured but such reckless actions could have resulted in devastating consequences and I dread to think what may have happened had it not been for the swift response of emergency services.

“We have no reason to believe the family was deliberately targeted and it is quite possible the offender or offenders has seen the cardboard and without a second thought just set it alight.”

Officers are now appealing for the offender to come forward, or anyone who knows who may have set the cardboard alight or seen someone in the communal area near to the flats at around the time of the fire.

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 0161 856 0161 8567671, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

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