Boy, 8, saves family from house fire as man, 24, arrested for 'arson'

·3-min read
Isaac Marshall who helped save his family. 
Credit: Evening Gazette
Eight-year-old Isaac Marshall helped his family escape a fire at their home in Middlesbrough. (Reach)

An eight-year-old boy has been hailed a hero after he helped save his family from their burning home after a suspected arson attack.

Isaac Marshall woke up at about 5.45am on Sunday to find the hallway of his family’s home in Middlesbrough on fire.

The eight-year-old opened a window and started screaming for help while his family slept.

A friend who happened to be passing heard the screams and helped with the rescue. Two passing paramedics, who were returning from a shift, also rushed into the house to help save those inside.

The couple and four children in the house were all rescued and taken by ambulance to James Cook University Hospital after breathing in smoke.

Police said later that a 24-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life. He was later released on bail.

Scenes at the house after the fire on Woodville Avenue after suspected arson attack
Credit: Evening Gazette
The family's home in Middlesbrough was badly damaged in the blaze. (Reach)

The blaze happened on Woodville Avenue on the Saltersgill estate.

Isaac’s mother, Charlie Loughran, 25, and his stepfather, Lewis Bond, 27, said they were unaware of the fire until they were woken up and dragged to safety by the emergency services.

Ms Loughran said: "When I woke up I could hear screaming and neighbours shouting.

"I remember walking out but you couldn't see anything for smoke.

"As soon as I got out I could see Isaac and Frankie in the neighbour's car.

"Anastasia was just covered in black soot, she looked like a little chimney sweep.

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"I still can't believe it, it doesn't seem real. We were given oxygen but everyone is okay."

The passing friend kicked the front door in and rescued Isaac, before going back in to save five-year-old Frankie, who was asleep in a bedroom.

It is understood Mr Bond and one-year-old Arlo, who were sleeping downstairs in the living room on the sofa and in a pram, were rescued by one of the passing paramedics.

Staff from Cleveland Fire Brigade, which sent four crews to the blaze, rescued Ms Loughran and two-year-old Anastasia from the house.

Ms Loughran said the passing friend had been for a drink at a home nearby but returned after forgetting his house keys. It was on his way back that he heard Isaac screaming.

"He kicked the door in and ran up the stairs and helped Isaac get down from the window," she said.

Fire crews used four breathing apparatus and two hose reel jets while tackling the blaze, leaving the scene just before 7am.

Scenes at the house after the fire on Woodville Avenue after suspected arson attack
Credit: Evening Gazette
Two adults and four children were rescued from ther fire at Woodville Avenue in Middlesbrough. (Reach)

The family have lived at the house for almost six years but Ms Loughran said they will not return.

"I won't be able to go back and I couldn't put my son through it," she said.

"It's badly affected him, he was saying, 'What if I hadn't woken up?'

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"It's really got to him, he can't get those pictures out of his head."

The couple praised the local community for their support.

A GoFundMe page has been set up for the family and people have been donating money, clothes and furniture at Ms Loughran’s mother’s home where the family are staying.

One of the fundraisers, and friend of the family, Dylan Brownlee, praised Isaac’s actions.

"He literally saved the lives of two younger sisters, his younger brother and his parents by screaming for help out of the window."

Cleveland Police said on Sunday that a 24-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life.

On Monday, the force said he had been interviewed and released on conditional bail.

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