A family of four were saved by a trip to the toilet when arsonists targeted their home early today.
A wheeled bin was pushed up against the back gate of the house in St Cuthbert’s Terrace, Millfield, around 3am.
The flames spread to the bathroom window of the house.
“It could have been potentially very serious,” said a fire brigade spokesman.
“If it was not for the guy in the house getting up to go to the toilet, he would not have noticed the fire and it could have spread through the house.”
A crew from Sunderland central fire station arrived on the scene just as the fire was breaking through the bathroom window.
“They did not have any smoke alarms, so we fitted two for them,” said the spokesman.
“We would remind people of the importance of having working smoke alarms in the house. If they don’t have them, they can contact the fire service and fit them and give fire safety advice.”