Lancaster family’s arson scare

Fire in High Street, Lancaster
Fire in High Street, Lancaster

A LANCASTER resident has told of her “frightening” ordeal as she opened her bedroom door to see thick, dark, grey smoke billowing up from the floor below.

Anna Cunningham, 28, of High Street, awoke to the sound of “howling” smoke alarms and shouting at 3am on Saturday, after a wheelie bin was set alight outside her family’s front door.

The fire quickly spread to the entrance and the rooms above the hallway, but the six occupants – Anna’s parents, brother and two lodgers – managed to escape the blaze. Luckily a passer-by dialled 999.

Lancaster police are now appealing for anyone with information about the arson attack, which is thought to be deliberate but not specifically targetted at the property, to come forward. Anna said: “I became aware in my sleep of a ringing noise and of shouting.

“I jumped out of bed and my mother opened my door.

“The corridor was full of thick, dark, grey smoke, and I couldn’t see the top of the stairs.

“I was very frightened. All I knew was that the smoke alarms were howling away.

“Then I heard voices that I didn’t recognise, and I realised it was the fire brigade. They brought us out, and I found out later that they’d extinguished the fire.

“Without those smoke alarms it probably would have ended up much worse.”

See the Lancaster Guardian (26-01-12) for full story.