Arson attack on Sunderland pub 'could easily have resulted in fatalities'

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An arson attack on a Sunderland pub could have been fatal, says a senior police officer.

Police are appealing for help after a fire at Oddies in Hylton Road.

Neighbourhood Inspector Jamie Southwell

Neighbourhood Inspector Jamie Southwell

It is believed a lit bottle containing flammable liquid was thrown through a downstairs window around 12.45am, starting a fire in the kitchen.

Four people who were in an upstairs flat escaped safely and no one was injured, but Neighbourhood Inspector Jamie Southwell said the consequences could have been serious.

"It was extremely fortunate that no one was injured as this could easily have resulted in fatalities," he said.

"We want to hear from anyone who was in the area at the time of the incident and who may have seen or heard anything which could assist our enquiries.

Police are appealing for witnesses, anyone who was in the area and who may have seen or heard anything suspicious, to get in touch on 101, quoting reference number 31 of 24/01/17 or ring the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.