Saturday, 05 September 2015

Arson inquiry launched after Carlisle family flee blaze

A family escaped their burning home after their pet dog raised the alarm.

Raffles Avenue fire photo
The scene of the fire

They were asleep at the house in Raffles Avenue, Carlisle when the fire broke out early on Saturday morning.

Police said today they believed the fire was started deliberately and are now hunting those responsible.

The family escaped unhurt after they were alerted by the barking dog.

It is thought the fire started between 3.30am and 4.30am, sparked by a burning motorbike parked at the back of the semi-detached house

When fire crews arrived they found the motorbike was well alight and that the fire had spread to the property.

It is believed that a tarpaulin covering the motorcycle was set on fire sparking the house blaze.

Watch manager, Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service, Steve Graham said: “Our fire investigators went on Saturday morning and they are producing a report. There is reason to believe it was arson.

“The bike had been covered over to protect it from the elements.

“That contributed to the fire.

“Whatever started the fire is not clear at this moment in time.”

He added that it had helped that the fire had been discovered early and the occupants had a lucky escape.

He said:”It could have been a lot more serious than what it was.”

A Cumbria Police spokeswoman said there was smoke and fire damage to the property and contents.

She added: “There was substantial fire damage to the house.

“We are appealing for any witnesses to get in contact with officers.”

“Fortunately the occupants were woken by their pet dog and managed to escape uninjured.”

Firefighters used one hose reel to put out the blaze and naturally ventilated the property as it was smoke logged.

Anyone with any information should contact DC Jane Wright on 101.

Meanwhile firefighters were called to a semi-detached property in Buchanan Road, Upperby after a bed had caught fire.

The alarm was raised just before 2pm on Saturday and when they arrived they used two sets of breathing apparatus and one hose reel jet to tackle the bedroom blaze.


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