Terror trail of the firebugs

Police on the scene of the fire at St Augustine's Terrace, Halifax, yesterday.
Police on the scene of the fire at St Augustine's Terrace, Halifax, yesterday.
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DETECTIVES are hunting arsonists behind a blaze which forced residents out of their homes.

The culprits set fire to furniture left out for council collection on St Augustine’s Terrace, off Pellon Lane, in the early hours of yesterday.

Alarmed people living nearby fled their homes when the heat of the flames cracked their windows.

The fire burnt through the door of one house, leaving the bottom floor smoke-damaged. Neighbours said the people who lived there had moved out only a few days before.

Zubair Parvez, 19, said he was woken by the noise of the blaze and rang the fire brigade.

He said the flames reached as high as the attic of the house nearest where the furniture had been piled.

Hussnain Ali, 23, said he and his friends were sitting in a car when they heard a commotion and tried to warn people in case the fire spread further.

“We were banging on people’s doors telling people to get out,” he said.

A police cordon was up yesterday morning around the houses that were hit and the charred remains of the furniture.

Police, who are working with firefighters to investigate the blaze, say there were two other fires in the area at around the same time.

A bin was set on fire on the nearby Kingsbury Place, off Queen’s Road, at around midnight, the St Augustine’s Terrace blaze was reported at 1.30am, and just a few minutes later a call was made to say a settee was on fire on neighbouring Redcar Street, off Hanson Lane.

Officers are treating the circumstances around all three incidents as suspicious.

Detective Inspector Tony Nicholson, from Calderdale CID, said; “We are working hard with the fire crews to investigate these incidents and would appeal for anyone who has information that might help our inquiries to get in touch.”

He added a plea for anyone renovating their home to try to avoid leaving furniture out on the street.

Anyone with information about the fires should call Calderdale CID on 01422 337085 or CrimeStoppers, where information can be passed on anonymously, on 0800 555111.