Birmingham & Black Country

Halesowen window cleaners save 'arson' attack children

A man has been arrested after a suspected arson attack which led to two children being rescued.

A girl of five and a three-year-old boy were carried from their smoke-filled home in Halesowen, West Midlands, by father and son window cleaners.

Police said the pair, who broke a rear upstairs window, also rescued the children's mother using their ladders.

A man, 36, from a different Halesowen home, is being questioned on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life.

Officers believe something was pushed through the front door which started the fire at the house in Elizabeth Road.

'Would have died'

Det Insp Gary Dring said the family was "lucky to be alive".

"At about one o'clock this morning, the neighbours next door were alerted to sounds of a female screaming," he said.

"They have come outside and they have seen the front door of this address well alight."

The children were treated in hospital for smoke inhalation but were not seriously hurt.

Det Insp Dring said: "If those people had not got the children and the female out of that address, I'm certain they would have died."

Fire investigators have identified the front door as the seat of the fire, he said.

Window cleaner Josh Burford said his father Dave led the two of them in their rescue operation.

"There was a fire and before you know it we were downstairs and were outside the house in a flash," he said.

He brought the ladders round and added his father "smashed the window and got them out in seconds - it was brilliant".

The children's grandmother Elizabeth Keenan said she wanted to thank the window cleaners "so much" for saving them and her daughter.

West Midlands Fire Service, which put out the blaze, said it took six minutes for the first engine to arrive from Cradley Heath, after a slight delay due to fog.

Anyone with information about the fire was urged to contact West Midlands Police on their 101 number.

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