Flats arson attack ‘endangered lives’

A flat on Oxspring Bank, Wadsley Bridge, Sheffield in which fire crews attended a fire and a baby was taken to hospital for checks after inhaling smoke
A flat on Oxspring Bank, Wadsley Bridge, Sheffield in which fire crews attended a fire and a baby was taken to hospital for checks after inhaling smoke
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Arsonists put lives at risk when they started a blaze in a communal stairwell of a block of flats in Sheffield.

Yobs set fire to a pile of rubbish in the early hours while residents slept.

Nobody was injured in any of the flats linked by the stairs - but a baby from a top floor home was taken to hospital for a check-up for possible smoke inhalation.

The blaze on Oxspring Bank, Owlerton, was discovered at 2.55am on Saturday, when the alarm was raised.

Firefighters called to the flats found rubbish had been set alight on a communal stairwell.

A South Yorkshire fire service spokesman today warned: “Deliberate fires, even smaller incidents involving rubbish or grass, can quickly develop and become life-threatening, particularly when they are started close to homes or property.”

A police investigation into the incident is under way and two arrests have been made.

A 23-year-old man and 15-year-old boy questioned over the incident have been bailed pending further enquiries.

A South Yorkshire Police spokeswoman said: “Police were notified just before 3am of a fire at a block of flats.

“It is believed the fire was deliberately started in a stairwell at flats on Oxspring Bank.

“As a result, a baby girl was taken to the Children’s Hospital as a precautionary measure for smoke inhalation.

“A 23-year-old man and a 15-year-old boy are currently on police bail, having been arrested on suspicion of arson.

“Although arrests have been made, police want to speak to anyone who was in the area at the time and saw anything suspicious, or has any information about this incident to please contact South Yorkshire Police.”

n If you have any information call 0114 2202020 and quote incident 212 of August 13 or call Crimestoppers in confidence on 0800 555111.