Police in Preston are appealing for witnesses following an unexplained fire at a flat in Ribbleton on 20 November.
The police and fire service were called around 9.30pm to a block of flats on Sion Hill where a ground floor flat was well ablaze.
Fortunately neighbours spotted the fire and helped the 61 year old female occupant to safety. Neighbours also helped a man from an upstairs flat to escape in case as he suffers from arthritis and they were concerned the fire may have spread.
A joint investigation is currently underway between Preston CID and Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service. Forensic teams have been deployed and police are carrying out house to house enquires.
Detective Inspector Paddy O’Neill from Preston CID said: “We are at the early stages of the investigation and do not yet know how the fire has started but we do know it has originated from a cupboard outside the flat which was used to store old furniture.
“The fire has then spread causing severe fire-damage to the front of the flat. The interior also suffered badly from smoke damage. It is thanks to the quick thinking of her neighbours that the occupant has managed to escape uninjured.
“I would appeal to anybody that was in the Longridge Road or Grange Avenue area of Ribbleton around 9.30pm last night that saw anyone acting suspiciously to contact police on 101.”
People with information can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or on-line at Crimestoppers-uk.org.