83-year-old woman dies in suspected arson attack

Richard Vernalls, PA
·1-min read

A murder investigation has been launched following death of an 83-year-old woman in a suspected arson attack on her home.

The victim jumped from a window to escape flames at a property in Lapworth Grove, in the Balsall Heath area of Birmingham, at 9.30am on Sunday, West Midlands Police said.

A man, 52, was also taken to hospital and is being treated for burns.

His injuries are said to be serious rather than life-threatening, according to the force.

The property has been cordoned off while police and fire investigators look for clues as to what started the blaze, however it is being treated as deliberate.

Balsall Heath arson attack
Flowers left at the scene in the Balsall Heath area of Birmingham (Matthew Cooper/PA)

A 46-year-old man initially arrested on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life has since been arrested on suspicion of murder and is to be questioned by detectives.

Police said they were not looking for anybody else in connection with the fire.

Detective Inspector Wes Martin said: “This is a really tragic case where a woman has sadly died after her own home – a place that should be safe – was set on fire.

“Our thoughts remain with her family at this time and they are being supported by specialist officers.

“A man has been arrested and at this time we are not currently looking for anyone else in connection with this incident.”