A terrified Wigan man shattered his wrist jumping 20ft from a first-floor window to escape a fire believed to have been started deliberately at his home.
Wigan firefighters were called to a property on Ormskirk Road in Pemberton at around 1.30am yesterday morning (Tuesday) following reports that people and a dog were trapped inside.
Crews could see smoke on the main road before reaching the two-storey property, where they found two people trapped inside and a third who had escaped out of the window, breaking his wrist as he landed on the street.
Brave firefighters immediately sprang into action, climbing a ladder to rescue the man and woman, who were hanging out of the window of the flat above Cartridge World.
Gareth Gray, watch manager, said that the occupants had smashed the window with a table so that they could breathe and in an attempt to escape the property.
“There was a lot of smoke inside and they couldn’t breathe,” he said. “There were two people hanging out of the window, they had cuts all over their hands and smoke inhalation.
“Once we got them down the ladder we asked if there was anyone else in there and found there was a dog inside.
“We sent two lads in with breathing apparatus who found the dog, a Staffordshire Terrier, under the bed. It wasn’t breathing a lot but we have specialist breathing apparatus for dogs and it was fine again within about 45 minutes.”
A criminal investigation is now underway after firefighters discovered “clear evidence” that the blaze had been set deliberately.
Crews from three fire engines worked quickly to isolate a gas pipe which had been damaged during the fire and was leaking.
“It wasn’t a straight forward fire,” added watch manager Gray. “There was evidence when we got there that it was an arson.
“The occupants ended up having to go to hospital. There was quite a lot of blood where they had tried to get out.
“We believe it was started on a metal staircase and that something had been pushed through the window into the kitchen.”
Firefighters used a large fan to clear the smoke and improve conditions in the flat while they put out the flames.
They attended the property for around two hours. Watch manager Gray said that the flat is no longer in a livable condition.
Anyone with information should contact Greater Manchester Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.