Girl, six, taken to hospital after suspected Burnley arson attack
A SIX-year-old girl was taken to hospital suffering from the effects of smoke after a suspected arson attack on the house next door.
Luciana Clarke and her mother Morgan Psardelli woke to smoke filling their home on Raglan Road, Burnley, at 3am yesterday.
The adjoining terraced home was on fire, hours after the occupier had been attacked in a field behind the homes, detectives said.
Luciana was treated for smoke inhalation at the scene but went to hospital two hours later after her mother became concerned.
The blaze, which fire chiefs said was started deliberately, gutted the living room of the property and caused severe smoke damage to the rest of the house, as well as neighbouring properties on both sides.
Kevin Clarke, Luciana’s father, who lives next door but one to the fire-hit house having separated from the mother of his child, said: “The smoke came right through into my daughter’s house and then mine.
“It has really ruined our Christmas. Luciana was taken to hospital yesterday morning.
“There was a lot of damage caused. You wouldn’t believe it considering the fire wasn’t in either of our houses.
“It has left a thick smell of smoke that will take ages to get rid of, even with the windows wide open.”
Officers from Burnley CID confirmed they believed the fire was linked to an earlier attack, after which the occupier of the damaged house was taken to hospital.
Crews from Burnley fire station were assisted by officers from Nelson as they tackled the blaze.
Watch manager Steve Harrison said: “Flames and smoke were coming out from the window when we arrived.
“The neighbours didn’t think there was anyone in so we broke down the front door.
“We dealt with the fire quite quickly but it took a while to search the property to ensure it was empty.
“We are treating the fire as suspicious as there is no other possible way it could have started naturally.”
Watch manager Harrison reiterated the importance of fire alarms.
He said: “One of the neighbouring homes didn’t have a smoke alarm, but luckily the smoke woke the woman inside.
“We fitted smoke alarms in her house for her, but things could have been much worse had she not woken up.
“We urge everyone to make sure they have working smoke alarms in their homes and that they check them regularly as they do save lives.”