A TERRIFIED hospital worker fled her Sheffield flat through the bedroom window after thugs hurled a petrol bomb into the living room in the middle of the night.
Collette Williams, aged 44, a domestic worker at the Northern General Hospital, today said she felt ‘lucky’ to be alive after the attack at her home on Longley Hall Road.
Police are investigating the incident, which happened at about 1am yesterday and was one of three ‘targeted arson attacks’ on addresses in Parson Cross on Saturday night.
The petrol bomb, in a glass bottle, was thrown at the living room window of Colette’s ground floor flat, smashing through the glass and igniting on the floor inside.
Ms Williams said she normally falls asleep watching television in the lounge but had gone to bed early.
She said: “I was woken by a smashing sound and the burglar alarm going off. I thought it was one of the back windows and I phoned the police.
“They asked me to turn the alarm off so I could hear them, which I did, but then I realised the smoke alarm was sounding.
“I opened the living room door and saw smoke and flames.
“I had to get out by climbing through the bedroom window.”
Ms Williams, who believes the arsonists meant to attack another property, added: “I’m lucky - normally on Saturday nights, I put the telly on and fall asleep in the lounge. “It’s a good job I didn’t - I could have been killed.
“What kind of person does this kind of thing? It’s diabolical. They’re evil - they didn’t know who was in the house, there could have been old people or children.”
Ms Williams said she is now counting the cost of the crime because she has recently spent £2,500 on a new living room suite - which has been damaged - and £500 on laminate flooring which will also need to be replaced.
Firefighters from Elm Lane and Central fire stations attended.
Ms Williams said she spent the night at her sister’s, before returning yesterday to begin the clear-up.
Her father, Gary Williams, added: “We’ve seen the reports about Sheffield being the safest city in England - but there have been two recent shootings last week and now this.
“It’s absolutely disgusting someone could do such a thing to my daughter.
“What’s she ever done to anybody? She doesn’t deserve what’s happened.
“We want anyone who saw anything suspicious to come forward and help the police. Whoever did this needs to be caught.”
Police are linking the incident with an arson attack on a wheelie bin at a house on Litton Road and another arson attack on Deerlands Avenue, both in Parson Cross.
A South Yorkshire Police spokewoman said: “Police are aware of three incidents of arson on Saturday night into Sunday.
“All incidents are believed to have been targeted attacks. Thankfully no one was injured.
“South Yorkshire Police will thoroughly investigate these incidents and relentlessly pursue all lines of enquiry until the offenders are in custody.”
Anyone with information should contact police on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.