A WOMAN has been charged with arson over a house fire that saw three people taken to hospital.

Police were called at around 10.10am on Saturday to reports of a fire at an address on Briercliffe Avenue in Colne.

Katey Mitchell, 31, of Skelton Street, Colne, has since been charged with arson with intent and was due to appear at Blackburn Magistrates’ Court.

A spokesman said: “We attended and found an upstairs room had been set alight.” Police said several people were evacuated from the property with three people taken to hospital, although nobody was injured.

A spokesman added: “A woman aged in her 30s was arrested at the scene.”

A resident, who lives on Briercliffe Avenue, told of seeing the drama unfold after witnessing smoke coming from the house.

She said: “All the emergency services were at the fire. “I saw three fire engines, three ambulances and two paramedic cars.

“There were also three police cars and a police van and later in the day I saw crime scene and fire investigation vans outside.

“There was a lot of smoke coming from the downstairs of the house.

“Fire crews were there at the scene for several hours before they put out the fire.

“I believe that there were two couples in the house and one of the ladies was in the room were the fire was and the other woman is pregnant. I believe they’re all okay.”

Firefighters from Nelson and Colne were called to the house. Crews were at the scene for several hours before they put out the fire.

An investigation into the cause of the fire is now under way.

A fire service spokesman said: “Three fire engines from Nelson and Colne were called to a house fire on Briercliffe Avenue, Colne.

“Firefighters extinguished the fire using two breathing apparatus, one hose reel and a ventilation unit.

“Three people were taken to hospital by North West Ambulance Service. “

An ambulance service spokesman said: “We sent three ambulances and a rapid response vehicle to the scene.

“Three patients were taken to hospital.”