UPDATE: Woman trapped in flat after arsonists set fire to bins
A WOMAN was trapped in her flat as it filled with smoke after arsonists started a bin blaze.
Ann Davey was in bed at her home in Drayton Close, Halliwell, when vandals started the fire outside her neighbour’s home at 1am yesterday.
The 64-year-old was woken and tried to flee her home — but was unable to get out because of the thick, black smoke.
Neighbours called firefighters, who evacuated some of the flats.
A fire service spokesman said: “We believe empty television packaging was deliberately set alight in the small brick outbuilding.
“Police also attended and the matter has now been passed over to them to investigate.”
The bins are in a compound in the block of flats.
Police have launched an investigation and Mrs Davey’s daughter, Patricia Buchanan, said she fears her mother will no longer feel safe in the flat.
She added: “My mum came down the stairs but then she couldn’t see because the smoke was that thick.
“She then went back up again and got trapped.
“Thank goodness no-one has been fatally injured but we might not be so lucky next time.
“According to the firefighters another 10 minutes and mum might not have survived.”
Lynn Williams, whose flat was targeted, also had to flee her home and two other women had also escaped their flats when firefighters arrived.
She said: “My alarm went off and I could hear my neighbour hammering on the door, saying ‘Lynn you are on fire’.
“I came down and it was just ablaze but the door to the store was shut so I was able to get out.
“I went across to my son’s as the firefighters and police were here until about four in the morning.
“I have gone hoarse with all the smoke, as it got everywhere.
“I don’t know what fun the culprits get out of it as they don’t even stick around to see what’s happened.
“But for my alarm going off I would not have known and my flat could easily have caught fire inside.
“There is something very wrong with these people.”
The charred wreckage has been left outside the front of Ms Williams’ flat, which has suffered extensive smoke damage inside.
Alfie Costello, another of Mr Davey’s neighbours, said the same thing happened to his flat a few years before he moved in and said bin compounds need to be locked up.
He added: “I’m just worried for the older people that live round here, who might be unable to get out.
“The smoke can kill them, never mind the fire.”
In June, 2008, a wheelie bin was set on fire next to a house in Little Holme Walk, in Great Lever.
The fire claimed the lives 71-year-old Hameeda Begum and her four-year-old granddaughter Alana Mian.
In October, firefighters had to evacuate people living in Bexley House, Kenton Close, Halliwell, after yobs set a disused bin store on fire.
Comments are closed on this article.