Trio arrested on suspicion of arson following Saffron Walden house fire

Fire crews were called to a house fire in Hamilton Mews, Saffron Walden, on Monday.

Fire crews were called to a house fire in Hamilton Mews, Saffron Walden, on Monday. - Credit: Archant

Three people have been arrested on suspicion of arson following a house fire in Saffron Walden.

Firefighters rescued a man and a woman, both in their 40s, from the burning property in Hamilton Mews just after midnight on Monday.

The pair received treatment for smoke inhalation and were taken to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge as a precaution. They were released later that morning.

The woman, who did not want to be named, thanked firefighters for their bravery and said she kept “surprisingly calm” through the ordeal.

“The firefighters were wonderful and their quick response was greatly appreciated,” she told the Reporter.

“When we called 999 the operator was brilliant. She told us everything that was happening, when the fire crews had been deployed and what we were to do.

“We were told to keep close to the ground and made sure we stayed near the window.”

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She added: “It was scary but we knew the firefighters were coming. It was a big relief to see them and they led us to safety. It’s good to have them based in town.”

Three people were arrested later that morning on suspicion of committing arson with intent to endanger life. The charge carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

A 27-year-old man from Saffron Walden, 26-year-old woman from Enfield and a 47-year-old man from Enfield are on police bail until January 8, 2014 pending further enquiries.

The cause of the fire is unknown. It is believed to have started on the upstairs landing. An investigation has been launched by Essex County Fire and Rescue Service and Essex Police.

Three fire crews were called to the blaze, two from Saffron Walden and one from Dunmow.

Station officer Paul Curtis, based at Saffron Walden, said: “Fire service control kept talking to reassure the pair and did a great job in making sure they kept close to the floor because the house was smoke-logged.

“They were trapped in their bedroom because of the heat and smoke so four firefighters went in to rescue them. Both occupants were overcome by smoke and taken to hospital.”

Firefighters remained until around 2.30am to make sure the scene was safe.

The cost of damage to the property is unclear at this stage.