A HOUSE in Blackburn was targeted in a suspected arson attack yesterday afternoon.

Fire crews and police were called out just after 2.10pm to the house in Bolton Road, and arrived to see flames coming from an upstairs window.

The people in the house had made their own way outside before the emergency services arrived, but a dog was carried to safety by fire fighters, from a downstairs room in the house.

A police spokeswoman said the fire was being treated as delibrate, and a man was arrested at the scene.

He was taken to hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation before being taken into custody.

The fire started in a front bedroom of the house which was badly damaged in the blaze.

Significant smoke and heat damage was also caused to the first floor of the property.

It was initially thought there were people inside the house, and three fire engines were sent, two from Blackburn and one from Darwen.

Firefighters, wearing breathing apparatus, used hoses to extinguish the blaze and searched the property to make sure nobody was inside.

Several police cars blocked off a stretch of Bolton Road from both sides to divert traffic, which caused disruption in the area.

Station Manager Tony Ashworth said: “It was quite a severe fire. We arrived to flames coming out of the front window upstairs.

“The whole bedroom has been destroyed and there is heat and smoke damage in adjacent rooms.

“We are investigating the cause. ”

Inspector Des Barr said: “A 38-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of arson.

“He was inside the house at the time the fire started.

“Enquiries are ongoing jointly with the fire service to try to establish what has gone on.”