Four flee, one rescued from fire at their home in Leicester
Four members of a family were forced to flee their home and a fifth was rescued by firefighters when a blaze broke out yesterday.
All five suffered the effects of smoke inhalation and two received minor burns in the blaze, which engulfed the family's end-of-terrace home in Longcliffe Road, off Humberstone Road, Leicester, in the early hours.
Neighbours, including at least four young children, fled in their nightclothes and were taken in by others further along the cul-de-sac.
Two crews from Leicester's Eastern station arrived at 12.23am and called for back-up appliances.
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When the firefighters arrived, four members of the family were standing outside their burning home.
A fifth, believed to be a son in his 20s, was still inside.
Omar Ghanchi, 30, who lives opposite, said: "The family was very worried because their son was not to be seen.
"I think he must have been injured because I saw him with a bandage round his forehead.
"I know him, he's a lovely lad.
"Everybody was out in the street and we were taking drinks and biscuits to the fire brigade and the police. People really came together."
Natalie Maull, 25, partner Shawn Jackson, 26 and daughter Talia, two, fled their home two doors away.
Natalie said: "We heard some shouting and saw smoke coming across the house. We saw a young man with a bandage round his head wearing an oxygen mask walk past us to an ambulance car.
"We were all a bit shocked and, thankfully, a neighbour took us in."
Another neighbour, a mother of three young children, who asked not to be named, said: "Someone banged on the door telling us to get out.
"I panicked a bit when I saw the flames.
"I got the children up. They were a bit frightened. It was cold and they were only in their pyjamas and barefoot, but the next-door neighbour put us up."
Amar Zoubir, 44, who took the family in, said: "They were very scared and distressed.
"The house went up in 10 minutes.There was a lot of shouting and smoke and some glass broke.
"The police and firefighters were here very quickly."
Melvina Pemberton, 67, who has lived in the street for 28 years, said: "It's the first fire we've had. They had a lucky escape, by the look of it."
Detective Superintendent Andy Lee said yesterday: "Scenes of crime officers and fire service investigators are at the scene, but there is no further update on the cause."
A Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said: "The cause of the incident remains under investigation and our fire investigation officers are working with the scene of crime officers from the police."