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Sunday, 05 July 2015

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Disabled Barrow man’s fear after arson attack at flats

A DISABLED man was among those caught up in a blaze drama after a suspected arson attack on a block of flats.

His neighbour’s door was set alight resulting in the entire block being evacuated.

Chris Sims, 48, of Low White Close, Ormsgill, who has osteo-arthritis, claims this is the second arson attack on the flats in two months.

He said: “It does make me apprehensive knowing that this is the second time it has happened.

“You just think, when’s it going to happen next?

“Someone set fire to the flat just before Christmas and my neighbour hasn’t been back since.”

Mr Sims was also left without a working phone line for five days after the fire on January 27.

The fire outside the door of his neighbour’s flat also destroyed telephone wires directly above the door.

Mr Sims, who uses a stick to walk, says it is lucky he heard his neighbour’s call because normally his strong medication “knocks him out”.

Firefighters were called at about 11pm after a flat in the same building as Mr Sims was on fire.

Mr Sims said: “I have lived here at least 11 or 12 years. One of my neighbours called to tell me there was a fire. I couldn’t smell smoke because both the door into my flat and the living room are fire doors.

“My neighbour said ‘stay in the flat’. I waited until I was told it was safe. It wasn’t a big fire but it worries me.

“I’m not totally immobile but I use a stick to get round and it would have been difficult for me to have climbed out a window or something.

“I have osteo-arthritis and I take medicine before I go to bed and it completely knocks me out.

“It was lucky I wasn’t asleep otherwise I wouldn’t have heard my neighbour calling on the phone or anything about it all.”

A Barrow CID spokesman said yesterday that inquiries were ongoing and no arrests had been made.

He said: “We have spoken to a lot of people involved in the evacuation but we’d still like anyone who can help us to call 101.”

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