A GRANDMA fell down the stairs as she and her granddaughter tried to flee their burning house after a suspected arson attack.
The 71-year-old has been left in hospital after fire engulfed and destroyed her family home.
The pensioner’s two grown-up children, as well as her six-year-old granddaughter, were all in the property, in Manor View East, Concord, Washington, as the blaze spread at 5am yesterday.
After realising her home was on fire, the OAP, who relies on a mobility scooter to get about, tried to make her way to safety, but fell down the stairs, injuring her back and pelvis.
The woman’s daughter and son, both in their 40s, helped her and the schoolgirl to safety as they waited for firefighters and paramedics to arrive.
Police investigating the cause of the fire today said they are treating it as suspected arson and have arrested a 27-year-old man.
It is believed the fire was started on a settee left outside the property for collection for disposal.
The blaze spread into the living room and remainder of the terraced property.
Neighbour Jamie Gibbons, 32, helped the family as they fled the house.
She said: “I’m still in shock.
“The family got out of the back of the house and into the back lane.
“The little girl was being carried down the street. I got her a nightie to wear to keep her warm.
“I could hear crackling from the front of the house and looked out my window and saw the fire.
“I had the paramedics, police and firefighters all in the house this morning.”
Neighbour Rebecca Mason, 21, was woken up by her dad shouting at her to ring the fire brigade.
She said: “I looked out the window at about 5am and saw the sofa on fire. It was a big shock.
“My mam rang the fire brigade, but I think someone had already contacted them.”
Four firefighters from Washington fire station went into the home to tackle the blaze.
Watch manager Les Tough, from the station, said: “Fortunately, the daughter was asleep on the downstairs settee and heard the windows cracking as the fire took hold.
“She managed to raise the alarm so the rest of the family could get out, which is very lucky.
“The older lady, who already had mobility problems, fell down the stairs as she tried to get out and was taken to hospital by paramedics.”
It is understood the OAP usually relies on a stairlift to get up and down her stairs.
Police said a 27-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of arson and was helping police with their inquiries yesterday.
Anyone who witnessed the fire or has information, is asked to contact police on 101, extension 69191, quoting log number 162 14/03/14, or the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.