UPDATE: Suspected arson attack leaves Letchworth woman in serious condition
- Credit: Archant
A woman is in a serious but stable condition in hospital after a suspected arson attack on her home.
A terraced house in Maddles, Letchworth GC, caught fire at about 1.30am on Monday and took firefighters two hours to put out.
Nearby neighbours had to leave their homes while firefighters forced their way in via the back of the house to rescue the woman, who was unconscious at the time.
She was then taken to Lister Hospital in Stevenage by ambulance after suffering from smoke inhalation and sustaining non-life threatening burns. She remains at the hospital in a serious but stable condition.
A spokesman for Hertfordshire said the incident is being treated as arson but no arrests have been made so far.
A neighbour, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “I sleep with the window open and woke up when I smelt smoke. It was really scary to be confronted by flames that high.
“We had to wake the children and get out of house as quickly as possible because we were obviously worried about the fire spreading to our house.
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“Luckily the fire services arrived really quickly and told us to wait outside while the put the fire out. It was about two hours before we could get back in.”
Fellow neighbour Michaela Young said: “It was quite upsetting. I know the lady and my kids used to go to school with her children so for this to happen is really sad. I just hope she’s ok.
“We’ve had the police come round asking if anyone knows someone with a grudge against the woman.”
Another resident, Barry Boxall, said: “I woke up about 1.45am when I heard sirens. There was loads of smoke and big flames coming out the front of the house.”
It was the second fire in the area in less than 24 hours after a house in Kyrkeby caught fire at about 8.40am on Sunday.
Fire crews attended the scene and a man was treated for smoke inhalation.
Police did not attend the incident, which is believed to be accidental and is not being linked with the second fire.
Anyone with information about the fire in Maddles can contact Hertfordshire Constabulary on non-emergency 101 number. Alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.