Leeds & West Yorkshire

Woman 'lucky to be alive' after Huddersfield bin arson

Fire crews have said a 77-year-old woman is lucky to be alive after arsonists targeted her Huddersfield home while she was asleep.

Sheila Handy was woken by a neighbour who banged on her walls to wake her during a fire at the house in Holmfield Road in the early hours of Monday.

Arosnists set fire to two bins and a plastic recycling box outside her home, which then spread to her kitchen.

Fire chief Keith Robinson said: "She's had such a lucky escape."

Ms Handy, who is asthmatic, was woken by the actions of her neighbour Marjorie Swift.

She was then pulled to safety by fire crews and treated in hospital for smoke inhalation.

Ms Handy said: "I feel lucky to have got out. As soon as I got out of that door I was so happy."

Ms Swift said: "I was frightened to death of losing her. We're so close. It was horrendous.

"The fact that she's here is all that matters."

Mr Robinson, district commander for Kirklees, said: "For an elderly person to be stuck in their house with a fire raging in the kitchen and trapping them in their house is something we do not condone.

"Potentially a lady could have lost her life and that's deplorable."

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