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Arson duo feared for their lives

A COUPLE forced to flee their home after being targeted by arsonists have spoken of their terrifying ordeal.

A COUPLE forced to flee their home after being targeted by arsonists have spoken of their terrifying ordeal.

The pair were lucky to escape with minor injuries after burning paper was deliberately pushed through the front door of their house in Oswald Street, Accrington, just after 5.20am on Sunday.

The man had to climb out of an upstairs window to escape the flames, while his wife was able to make her way downstairs.

She told the Observer: "We were both in bed at the time and I had sent my husband into the back bedroom because of his snoring."

"At about 5.15am the smoke alarm went off. When I opened the bedroom door there was smoke everywhere. I shouted to my husband to get out and I managed to get down the stairs. He had to escape through the back bedroom window. He has scratches all over his back from climbing out."

"It was terrifying. We both thought the other was still in the house. I'm just glad we're alive. I dread to think what might have happened."

The couple, who are too scared to be identified, were treated for smoke inhalation by paramedics while fire crews tackled the blaze.

She added: "We don't want to go through anything like that again. We are still really shaken up. It was a terrible shock."

"I have no idea who did this to us. I beg anyone who knows anything to come forward before they do this to somebody else."

The couple said they were so scared on the night after the fire that they slept downstairs.

Police have launched an investigation into the attack, which left the house heavily smoke damaged.

They are particularly keen to trace a man seen knocking on doors in the area in the week preceding the fire and have issued an E-fit likeness. Officers said although he may have had a legitimate reason for being there, they need to speak to him if only to eliminate him from their inquiries.


Stuart Pike
Deputy editor specialising in politics
Alex Bell
Bethany English
District reporter
Beth Abbit
Court reporter
Jon Macpherson
Kate Watkins
Reporter specialising in communities
Garth Dawson
Photographer and columnist