A FAMILY of six had a lucky escape after their home was set on fire in an arson attack.
A mum, dad and their four children were forced to flee as the blaze spread through the semi detached house.
Today, neighbours spoke of their shock at the incident.
Police and firefighters were called to Stockley Road, Barmston, in Washington, at 1.30am on Saturday following reports of the blaze.
Officers immediately sealed off the area around the semi-detached house so that forensic investigations could be carried out to determine what happened.
Officers said that those living in the property were left unharmed despite the terrifying ordeal.
Smoke damage could today be seen to the front windows of the property.
A mum who lives across from the fire-hit home, but didn’t want to be named, said: “It’s sick that this could happen when there are four kids that live there.
“The bairn woke me up last night when she saw the lights from the fire brigade.”
The woman added: “They are so lucky. It just makes you sick to think what could have happened there.”
Another woman who lives just doors away, said: “It’s horrible to think that’s happened near me.”
Yesterday, Northumbria Police said officers had arrested a 32-year-old man on suspicion of arson and was in custody helping investigators with their inquiries. He has since been released on bail.
Jennifer Martin, 29, who lives nearby, said: “It’s frightening to think what could have happened. You automatically think about those six children who died in that house fire the other week.”
Detective Inspector Lisa Theaker said: “We’re carrying out initial enquiries to establish what has happened and the investigation is still in the early stages.
“I’d urge any witnesses or anyone with information to get in touch with police as soon as possible.”
Witnesses are now being asked to contact officers.
Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 ext 69191, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.