Families forced to flee flames

Scene of a house fire on Tavora Street, Wakefield.(the rendered house on right)
Scene of a house fire on Tavora Street, Wakefield.(the rendered house on right)

FIREFIGHTERS had to evacuate families from their homes after a suspected arson attack during the early hours of yesterday.

People living on Tavora Street, College Grove, left their homes as the blaze broke out just after midnight, in an empty house on Thursday morning.

Crews from Wakefield were called to tackle the fire which was thought to have started in the basement.

Police have launched an investigation into the cause of the fire.

Officers from the Central neighbourhood police team (NPT) were stood guard outside the burnt out house yesterday morning.

Sherine Jayasekara, 46, was one of the people who were evacuated.

She said: “We were told we had to leave for own safety. We were taken to the car park across the street for about three hours.

“There was lots of smoke everywhere, it was worrying, I was scared about what was going to happen.”

She said the house had been empty for several weeks.

Imiaz Khan, 36, said: “It was a big fire, you could see all the smoke. We got a knock on the door and the firefighters said we had to go.

“We were really worried – it could have been gas or anything. All of our houses might have set fire. It’s lucky no-one was injured.”

Police want to speak to anyone who saw anything suspicious in the area before the fire started.

Anyone with information should contact police on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.