Police say a Redditch couple are lucky to be alive after an arson attack.
A bin in a cupboard next to the front door of an end terraced house in Dolben Lane, Winyates West, was set alight at around 9.40pm on Sunday 30 September.
It spread to the house, burning the porch door and luckily the couple in their 20s, who had been in bed, were disturbed by a noise and managed to escape.
The man, who came downstairs to investigate, was beaten back by the flames and seconds later the gas main ignited, causing considerable damage to the front of the house (pictured), and the couple got out through the back door.
It’s the latest in a series of arson attacks in the area and Detective Sergeant Adam Hartwright of West Mercia Police, says it could’ve been much more serious:
“Following a series of arson attacks in the area, police warned last week that if they continued, someone was going to die or be badly injured, and we cannot emphasise that strongly enough.
“It was extremely fortunate that the couple who were the latest victims escaped with their lives. Had they not been disturbed and come down to investigate, they could have been trapped and this inquiry would now be a double murder investigation.
“Those responsible may think starting fires is just messing about, a bit of a joke. But people’s lives are at stake here and they have got to stop before there is a tragedy. I would urge anyone with information to please come forward.”
Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS) sent two fire crews from Redditch fire station to the incident and firefighters in breathing apparatus extinguished the blaze using one hose reel jet.
Station Commander Phil Berry from HWFRS said:
“Crews arrived to find a serious fire that had spread from the wheelie bin store cupboard outside the property to the porch, affecting the ground floor of the house. The gas mains at the property was also alight.
“We are working with the police to establish exactly how the fire started and would join them in their appeal for information from the local community. Clearly this incident had the potential for some very serious consequences and it’s vital that those involved are identified and held accountable.”
They’re also urging other people to make sure they have fitted smoke alarms.
Earlier yesterday evening, three youths aged between 13 and 17 were arrested on suspicion of arson in connection with another bin fire in Dolben Lane, which happened at around 7pm. Two remain in custody and one was released on police bail.
Witnesses or anyone with information are asked to contact Det Sgt Hartwright on the non-emergency number 101 quoting incident 2-N-011012 or ring the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.