A MAN was forced to escape his home and alert his neighbours, after someone set fire to his front door.

At around 4.30am on Saturday, fire crews from Blackburn were called to Mill Hill Street, Blackburn, to reports of a house on fire.

When they arrived they found the front door of the property to be well alight, and smoke filling and spreading throughout the house.

A fire service spokesperson said: “The man, who we believe was in his 40s, had managed to get out via a rear door.

Lancashire Telegraph:

“He’d been sleeping at the time and said that he’d been woken up after hearing a commotion outside, which had alerted him to someone at the front door, and then he’d seen the fire.

“He didn’t have any smoke alarms so he was extremely lucky that he was woken up, otherwise things could’ve been a lot different.”

An arson investigation now is underway as police and fire officers suspect the house was deliberately set on fire while the man lay sleeping in his bed.

On Saturday afternoon, the property was still being treated as a crime scene, and images show how the front door and entrance to the property had been completely ravished by the fire.

Insp Martyn Holt confirmed police attended the incident at 5.20am and investigation were ongoing. No-one has been arrested.

Lancashire Telegraph:

A resident on Mill Hill Street, who did not wish to be named said that the man had escaped through the rear of the property and had then woken them up.

She said: “A bit of smoke came through to our house but no-one was hurt.”

Another neighbour said: “We had just got back from holiday and went straight to bed so didn’t hear anything, but my sister said she had heard shouting. I don’t know who lives there but I don’t think he’s been there that long.”

Fire officers have now reiterated the importance of having smoke alarms inside properties, and have advised to check that they are working, at least once a week.

The spokesperson added: “Had he not heard the disturbance he would’ve been in danger.

“Fortunately, the fire was confined to the front door and the casing of the door but the ground and the first floor were very heavily smoke logged.

“The police arrived and made it a crime scene.

“It seems as though the fire was started deliberately.”

The man was checked over at the scene but was not deemed to need hospital treatment. 

Crime scene investigation and fire investigation attended the property at around 10am on Saturday.