SIBLINGS who fled an arson attack on their home have thanked two Sunderland fans who saved their lives.
Liam Sinclair and his sisters Kayleigh, 17, and Leoni, 14, were asleep in their house in Windermere Road, Westlea, Seaham, when they were woken by two men who spotted the blaze.
They had been going home after watching SAFC’s 1-1 draw against Stoke at a pub.
Today, police have praised the good Samaritans and hailed them as “heroes”.
The fire was started when Liam’s CBR 600 motorbike was propped up against a wheelie bin and set alight, which spread to the back of the house.
The room worst hit belongs to eldest brother Andrew, 22, who was out looking after his daughter Mia Scarlett, two, with his sister Lexis, seven, sleeping at an aunt’s.
The brothers are bringing up their sisters after the death of their mother Andrea Playle a year ago. The 42-year-old suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Liam, 20, told the Echo: “I didn’t think the fire would spread to the house, but I looked out and I saw the flames coming up. That’s when I got out with the girls.”
Andrew, who has lost most of his clothes to smoke damage, said: “It was a really lucky escape.
“It was devastating to see what had happened.
“We all want to know who has done this. I will thank the men who helped when I see them.”
The family’s Staffordshire bull terrier Lola and two cocker spaniels, Roxy and Henry, were saved.
The men who raised the alarm have asked to remain anonymous.
One, a 27-year-old shop worker, told the Echo he and his friend, a 32-year-old call centre worker, had been walking home when they spotted smoke.
He called the emergency services, while his mate banged on the door.
He said: “We knocked a couple of times and thought there was no one in until three faces appeared at the window. I thought, if that was my house, I would want someone to do the same for me.”
Detective Sergeant Cliff Down, of Seaham CID, said: “The police recognise the actions of these two members of the public and believe they prevented what could have been something a lot more serious.”