Bolton arson attack: Family forced to jump to safety

House fire aftermath in Bolton Image copyright GMFRS
Image caption The home was badly damaged in the fire but a family of five escaped unhurt

A family of five, including a three-year-old boy, were forced to jump to safety from a first-floor bedroom after an arson attack on their home.

Firefighters were called after the blaze broke out in Jedburgh Avenue, Heaton, Bolton, just after 02:30 GMT.

A smoke alarm woke the sleeping family, who have been praised for the "quick thinking and decisive action" that may have saved their lives.

The home was badly damaged but the residents escaped unharmed.

Firefighter manager Lee Coleman, of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, said the family awoke to see flames lapping at the front door.

"There was no way they could have got out of that house through the front door and so they made their exit through the bedroom window of the first floor," he said.

'Lives saved'

Det Sgt Rob Parker, of Greater Manchester Police, said: "We believe an accelerant was used to start this fire, that could very easily have killed all inside."

Firefighters said one man jumped from the window into the back garden, before the child was dropped to safety into the man's arms.

Two women and a second man also jumped.

All five were given oxygen at the scene before being transferred to the Royal Bolton Hospital for further tests and treatment.

Mr Coleman added: "The working smoke alarm at this property undoubtedly saved the house itself from any real and significant damage and made sure the family were up and out of that property in a flash.

"It clearly could have been much worse."

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