A blaze which severely damaged a semi-detached house in Keighley was started deliberately, police have confirmed.

Detectives believe the property, at Braithwaite Edge Road, was burgled and then set alight.

CID chiefs have this morning appealed for anyone with information about the incident, or who was in the area between about 10.30pm and midnight on Friday and may have seen something suspicious, to come forward.

Detective Inspector Ryan Bragg, of Airedale and North Bradford Police, said: “Following an investigation with the fire service, the indications are that there has been a burglary at the property and then it has been ignited maliciously.

“We’re not sure of the reasons for the fire or precisely how it was started, it is possible the person was trying to cover their tracks. There is no other obvious motive.

“It is unclear whether anything was taken from the house.”

Firefighters were called out to the blaze early yesterday morning and when they arrived at the scene, flames were licking from the downstairs windows.

Initially it was reported someone was in the house, but it turned out the property was unoccupied.

Fire crews from Keighley, Silsden and Bingley attended and tackled the inferno from outside before entering the house.

Firefighters, some wearing breathing apparatus, used two hose reels to bring the blaze under control.

The fire was restricted to the kitchen area but there was smoke damage to the whole property.

Watch commander Carl Foulds, of Keighley fire station, said there was a huge amount of smoke and as they had approached the scene they were flagged down by a man who was choking on the fumes. He was taken to hospital as a precaution.

“Smoke filled the area - we used a special ventilation fan to help clear it from the property,” he said.

“There was an added danger in that a home oxygen unit was present in the house.

“The property was well alight but we managed to mainly contain the fire damage to the kitchen.”

Checks were carried out in the neighbouring house to ensure the fire hadn’t spread.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Constable Ian Dawson on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.