A RESIDENT has spoke of his shock at finding his home filled with smoke after a suspected arson attack on a nearby property.
The man, who asked not to be named, says he woke in the early hours by the sound of fire engines.
When he went down the stairs of his own property in Calver Court, in Harton Moor, South Shields, he discovered the room covered in smoke.
Outside, firefighters had already started to tackle a blaze which had broken out in a nearby property, at about 3.45am on Saturday.
Northumbria Police said that a 21-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of arson and is now on bail.
The resident said: “I could see the flashing lights through the window and when I came down stairs, there was smoke everywhere, it was up to my waist. I had to open the back door, you just couldn’t breathe.
“When I looked out the fire brigade had the hoses out and were putting a fire out in the property next to mine.”
It is thought a woman lives at the property, but was not at home at the time of the blaze, which police believe was started maliciously.
Police are now appealing for anyone with information to come forward.
A police spokesman said: “At 3:46am on Saturday we received a report of a house on fire in Calver Court, South Shields.
“The fire brigade extinguished the fire and no-one was injured.
“Early inquiries suggest the fire may have been started maliciously and police are appealing for anyone who was in the area at the time, and who saw anything or anyone suspicious, to contact them on 101 ext 69191.
Callers are asked to quote reference number 239 14/03/15