Mum and children escape arson attack on home

Mum Emma Curwood with children Charlotte, five, and Ethan, three.
Mum Emma Curwood with children Charlotte, five, and Ethan, three.
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A mum and her two young children were led to safety from their smoke filled home by firefighters in the early hours of the morning after a suspicious blaze in an adjoining garage.

Fire chiefs said the incident, which is being treated as arson, could have been much more serious as the family were taken to hospital for treatment.

Police said someone was seen leaving the area at the time of the incident and that they are looking for possible evidence from CCTV.

Mum Emma Curwood, 26, and her children Charlotte, five, and Ethan, three, were asleep upstairs in bed in their terraced house on Alker Street, Chorley, when the fire started on Friday.

“It was the early hours of the morning and I just heard bang, bang, bang for about 10 minutes,“ she said.

“There were explosions, and I thought it was the roadworks here outside.

“I thought, I’ve got to get up for school in a minute, why has my alarm not gone off.

“I left it another five minutes. I could smell smoke, but because I was half-a-sleep it didn’t register.

“I thought someone had put smoke bombs down to see if the pipes are clear.”

However, she soon realised something serious was happening.

“I saw flames reflecting in my bedroom window. I thought I’d better dial 999.

“I turned round and there was smoke billowing underneath the skirting boards.

“I had to throw some clothes on – I was still talking to the woman on the phone on 999.”

She continued: “I went into their (the children) room and shouted get out of bed and I shoved their dressing gowns on.

“Coming down the stairs, they were filling with smoke.

“The fire crew were banging on the door at this point.

“I was in shock to be honest, but the living room was full of smoke at this point.

“I dragged Ethan out into the street. I ran into Brian’s my neighbour.

“I was in shock and didn’t believe it was happening, but all I had to keep thinking was get the kids out of the house.”

Two fire appliance turned out from Chorley and one from Leyland.

Four firefighters, using breathing apparatus tackled the blaze, which completely destroyed one garage and partially damaged another. The family’s house was slightly smoke damaged. The blaze was extinguished at 6am.

Watch manager Wes Truran at Chorley fire station said: “It was a suspicious fire in a garage that spread to adjoining garages, and smoke has come up into the properties.

“We just led them to safety from upstairs.

“They went for a precautionary check to Chorley Hospital.”

He added; “There were three fire engines there, initially two, and due to the nature of the fire and manpower, we requested another one.

“We forced entry to four garages to extinguish the fire.

“It could have been serious.”

Fire officers and police returned later that morning to carry out further investigations as to the cause of the blaze, which started at abut 4.30am.

A Lancashire Police spokesman said: “The fire remains undetected and investigations are continuing.”

The mum and children were treated for smoke inhalation, but were otherwise unhurt and were back home later that morning.