Hero brother rescues family after arson attack

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A young Wigan mum has described the moment her heroic brother saved her family from a potentially deadly arson attack.

Kimberley Hanley, partner Robert Bendelow and their six-year-old daughter were fast asleep in the early hours of last Sunday (July 17) morning when pallets of wood were set alight on the drive of their Bedford Street home in Whelley.

I can’t help thinking what would have happened if my brother hadn’t got here, I dread to think

Kimberley Hanley

As the flames began to rise and the possibility of the fire spreading to the house grew, Kimberley’s brother Gary Hanley came to the rescue.

He lives in the house behind with his parents and as soon as he saw the growing inferno, he rushed around to help.

Kimberley, who is heavily pregnant, said: “I was in bed asleep, it was my brother who saw it.

“My mum and dad live at the back of me and he came and put the fire out with a bucket of water.

“We phoned the fire brigade just to log it though and the police came too.

“This is the latest thing to happen, we are pretty sure we know who it is.

“I can’t help thinking what would have happened if my brother hadn’t got here, I dread to think.

“Our six-year-old daughter was in the house at the time and I’m heavily pregnant too.”

Kimberley revealed that this was the latest in a strong of incidents, leading the couple to have suspicions as to who is responsible.

The family has been plagued with abuse and even having the police called to their house for no reason.

She wants the trouble to end immediately and hopes any potential witnesses will come forward with information.

“I’m fed up with it all,” she said. “I’m just bothered about the little ones to be honest.

“It’s one thing attacking us like this but to involve children is something else altogether.

“I just hope people can come forward and tell the police if they’ve seen anything.”

Police have now launched appealed for information about the potentially deadly incident.

It was at about 1.15am that wooden pallets were set alight on the driveway and they are calling for anyone in the area at that time who may have seen anything to come forward.

PC Bradley Dunne of GMP’s Wigan Borough said: “Fortunately, no-one was injured but this was a reckless act and people were inside the property at the time.

“They are incredibly lucky to have escaped unharmed. I would ask anyone who may have seen anyone acting in a suspicious manner in the area to contact police as soon as possible.”

Anyone with information should phone police on 0161 856 7124, 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.