A 24-YEAR-OLD woman has been arrested on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life after a ground floor flat fire in Mellor yesterday morning.

An investigation has been launched into the incident which took place on Weavers Fold, just before 2am.

Donna Woolnough, 47, and with her partner Terry, had a race against time to get her disabled parents Geoffrey, 72, and Susan Curwen, 68,  out of the flat next door to where the fire broke out.

Mrs Woolnough, who also lives in Weavers Fold, described the panic as her parents raised the alarm. 

She said: “I have different ringtones for different people and I heard the phone and I knew it was my mum.

“I knew something was wrong when she rang. I thought my dad was ill so it was pure panic.

“My adrenalin took over and we knew that we just had to get them out.

“Terry ran out and the road was full of smoke. We just wanted to get my dad out as he is in a wheelchair.

“It was bedlam as the fire brigade had not arrived.”

They helped the pair, who avoided serious injury, out of the property as others evacuated the flats upstairs. 

She said: “We got them both out and they are just a bit shook up but at least they were safe.

“It could have been so much worse as the fire alarms did not go off and we just wanted to get everyone out of the flats and safe.

“People were out in the street watching what was happening.

“This is such a quiet street and area, I have been living up here for 40 years.”

A Lancashire Fire spokesman said: “Three fire engines from Blackburn and Hyndburn attended a fire involving a ground floor flat in Mellor.

“One person was treated by the ambulance service at the scene and taken to hospital. A joint police and fire investigation is now under way.

“The crews were there until 6am and will be going back to it this morning.”

A police spokesman said: “We were called around 2.05am to reports of a fire at a flat in Mellor.

“Emergency services attended with fire crews extinguishing the blaze. No serious injuries were reported. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

"A 24-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life.”