Three escape bin blaze on balcony

Barnstock, Bretton. EMN-150605-141247009

Barnstock, Bretton. EMN-150605-141247009

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Three residents had to run to a balcony to escape a blaze after a wheelie bin was set on fire outside their door in the middle of the night.

Arsonists torched the wheelie bin outside the home in Barnstock, Bretton at 1.55am on Wednesday.

Three people escaped to a first floor balcony from where they called 999, but could not leave because the fire was blocking their only exit.

Firefighterss arrived shortly afterwards and the three residents escaped unhurt.

Station Commander Mick Jackman, fire investigator, said: “Following a full fire investigation, we believe the fire was started deliberately. Understandably, the victims are shaken up following this incident and arson is a serious crime that can affect the whole community. We would urge anyone who sees anything suspicious to contact police immediately.

“Multi-agency partners are carrying out work in the local area now to talk to residents about their safety, and community fire safety officers are engaging with the public about wheelie bin safety among other things. We would always recommend homeowners store wheelie bins out of sight and away from the roadside if possible to avoid opportunistic arson attacks.

“We must also commend the victims of this incident who managed to stay calm, dial 999 and get out of the property safely on to a balcony, despite the obvious exit being blocked. Most importantly, they stayed out and waited for the fire service to arrive.”

Anyone with information should call police on 101.