Family escapes Wigan block of flats after arsonists set fire to staircase

Firefighters said the incident was "very dangerous"
Firefighters said the incident was "very dangerous"

A Wigan family with a young child has escaped unscathed after arsonists started two fires in a block of flats.


At around 1:55am today (Sunday) crews were called to reports of a fire at an apartment block on Carr Lane in Wigan.

On arrival they found that two fires had been lit, one in a vacant flat that was under renovation and the other in the only staircase serving the home of a family with a young child.

The family heard the smoke alarm sounding in the empty property and were able to get out as the staircase blaze had subsided.

Watch manager Glyn McGann said that the flames were lit by a group of youths who had broken into the block through a window at the front of the building.

They had used cardboard from the empty flat as fuel for the blaze.

“This was a very dangerous incident which could have potentially trapped a family with a young child.

"Police have been informed.

“It was only because of the smoke alarm in the vacant flat that they were alerted and managed to escape.

“If you don’t have a smoke alarm especially if you live in a flat, then please do inform us.

“If you are a tenant of a flat where you privately rent it is the statutory duty of the landlord to provide them.”

Three fire engines attended and crews were able to douse the flames in the empty property.

A small amount of damage has to the vacant flat but the flames were burning hot enough to melt window sill.

There is also paint damage in the hallway from the fire set in the staircase.

For more information about smoke alarms and how to have them installed visit www.manchesterfire.gov.uk/staying-safe