OAP forced from Oakworth home by arsonist

The house in Harewood Crescent, Oakworth, damaged by fire after it was set alight following a burglary

The house in Harewood Crescent, Oakworth, damaged by fire after it was set alight following a burglary

First published in Keighley by

An Oakworth pensioner has been forced from her home following a fire started during a burglary this week.

Dorothy Lund has had to sleep at her sister’s house since the blaze on Monday at her Harewood Crescent home.

She has been told it will be up to three months before the house is fit to be lived in again.

Although fire damage was limited to furniture in the living room, the entire house was heavily damaged by smoke.

Dorothy, 70, said: “All the rooms are black, all the walls are black – there’s a hole in the floorboards where they started the fire.

“It’s all ruined and I’m homeless. Thankfully, I’ve got good relatives.”

Police this week confirmed the fire was arson, and said a laptop and gold watch had been stolen.

But they were not linking the incident to a similar blaze earlier this month in Braithwaite, which police believe was started deliberately during a burglary.

Airedale and North Bradford Police have issued an appeal for witnesses to the incident, which happened between 1am and 3.30am on Monday.

Detective Inspector Neil Benstead said before leaving, intruders set the front room of the house on fire He added: “Fortunately, the 70-year-old occupant of the house was not at home when the crimes were committed.

“If she had been, we could well have been dealing with an extremely serious incident.”

Firefighters were called at about 4am when neighbours saw flames in Dorothy’s living room. Several of the neighbours, including Philip Hands, threw buckets of water through the window.

Watch commander, Paul Turner, from Keighley fire station, said the neighbours’ actions helped confine the fire to the ground floor.

He added: “On arrival, there was thick black smoke issuing from the ground floor and upper floor.

“We had to commit four firefighters wearing breathing apparatus, and two hose reels. We managed to get the fire under control within 15 minutes.”

Anyone with information about the incident should contact DC Paul Maxwell on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.

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