Smoke alarm saves Shropshire family in arson attack

A smoke alarm saved the lives of a Shropshire family asleep in their beds when an arsonist struck at their home in a random fire attack.

Mum Diane Carey (51), woken by the alarm, was hit by smoke as she opened her bedroom door.

"It was 4am and I could see orange flames glowing and I screamed fire, fire. I opened the back door and fire was dripping down the front door and a pool of flames were on the hall carpet," said the mother of three.

"I was very pleased. No-one panicked and everyone reacted responsibly. The smoke alarm was going crazy and we all came downstairs and out of the back door."

Son Aaron (23) took a large glass of water from his mum's hand while his brother Nathan (17) grabbed a towel and the two young men put out the fire.

"If it had been going for much longer I doubt they would have put it out," said Mrs Carey at her three bedroomed terraced home in Chatford, Stirchley, Telford.

She said it would have been much more serious with the family having to jump out of bedroom windows if the fire had gone on for another minute or two.

"We were shocked. It was some idiot who put petrol or some other flammable liquid through the letter box and set fire to it. Unfortunately we got targeted."

The family had fortunately closed all internal doors at their home as part of a regular fire safety routine to prevent fire spreading.

Police and the fire crime investigation officer from Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service are investigating. Firefighters have distributed leaflets in the area giving out fire prevention advice.

"The smoke alarm saved them in what was a terrifying ordeal. They reacted very well," said Rabinder Dhami, team leader in Community Fire Safety, who urged every family to ensure they have working smoke alarms in their homes.

17th September, 2009