Manchester

Stalybridge Labour Club steward escapes arson attack

A steward has escaped with minor burns after being trapped inside a club set alight in an arson attack.

The 58-year-old woman was caught in the fire at Stalybridge Labour Club in Tameside at about 00:50 BST on Friday.

A man and woman, both of whom Greater Manchester Police said were in their late 30s, started fires in the club after demanding money from the steward.

The woman escaped via the cellar of the venue after the couple locked her in an office.

The attack began after the steward answered a call for help from a woman outside the club, after locking up for the night.

On opening the doors, the man pushed his way in followed by the woman.

The pair demanded money and the woman poured accelerant over the bar and the steward, before throwing a lit lighter at her, setting fire to her cardigan.

As she struggled with the fire, the steward was forced into the club's back office and locked inside.

The pair, who did not take anything, then set fire to parts of the bar and lounge before leaving.

The trapped steward used an escape route through the cellar to exit the burning premises, suffering minor burns and bruising to her arms and legs.

The wanted pair are described as white and in their late 30s, with the man being of heavy build and tall, wearing a grey hooded top and three-quarter length shorts, while the woman was slim with long dark hair in a ponytail and was wearing leggings and a floral top.

Det Insp Dave Loughlin said the victim had been left "badly shaken by this ordeal, but this could have had far more severe consequences".

"This attack was totally unnecessary and I would urge anyone who knows about this to call us; this crime has been carried out without a second thought to the victim's safety."

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