Officers investigating a house fire in Selly Oak earlier this week are treating the incident as arson, with a mum and her three young daughters lucky to escape the building.
Emergency services were called to the fire at a house in Bushwood Road at around 9pm on Tuesday (15th October).
10 firefighters from West Midlands Fire Service tackled the fire with most of the fire damage being in the hallway.
Fortunately no-one was injured in the fire and the occupants of the house had managed to get out of the building themselves.
A mother and her three children (aged 10, 9 and 6 years) were upstairs in the house at the time of the incident.
When the fire started in the hallway, they had to make their way down the stairs and pass the seat of the fire to get through to the kitchen and out of the side door into the garden. Luckily, the key to the door had been left in the kitchen.
Once in the garden, a neighbour broke through the gate to get them to safety.
The family report that the fire service told them they would not have survived if they had left their escape just another 60 seconds.
The family have been unable to move back into the house and have been placed in temporary accommodation by Birmingham City Council.
A police spokesperson confirmed that a 32 year old woman was arrested on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life and was later released on police bail pending further enquiries.
Anyone with information is asked to contact West Midlands Police on Live Chat at www.west-midlands.police.uk (8am – midnight) or to call 101 any time. Quote crime reference number 20BW/244394E/19
Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or visit www.crimestoppers-uk.org
A family friend is collecting any spare items of clothing and toys etc for the children affected (three girls aged 10,9 and 6).
If you wish to pass on any items please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
A Just Giving page has also been set up for people who want to donate