The family of a great-grandmother who leapt to her death following an arson attack on her home have described her as “a much-loved and respected member of her local community”.
Peggy Wright, 83, suffered serious injuries after she plummeted 20ft to escape the flames from a suspected firebomb that was shoved through the letterbox of her home in Lapworth Grove, Balsall Heath, Birmingham, at around 9am on Sunday.
Mrs Wright was heard “screaming for dear life” before leaping out of the window while her son Andrew, 52, was rescued by firefighters.
He was taken to hospital with serious burns and is now in a stable condition.
In a tribute to Mrs Wright, her family said in a statement: "Peggy was a much-loved and respected member of her local community over a period of many years.
"A mother, sister, grandmother and great-grandmother, she was devoted to her family but always had time to show compassion and understanding to others.
"Her loss following the sudden and devastating events of the weekend has left her loved ones and many friends beyond grief, in a state of bewilderment and has created a void in her family that can never be filled.”
Witnesses say they heard Mrs Wright “screaming for dear life” as the property became engulfed in flames.
One neighbour said: “I was hanging the washing out and thought someone’s TV was on because I could hear a commotion and shouting.
“It sounded like someone was screaming for dear life. When I heard sirens and saw smoke coming from the house I knew something awful had happened.
“I didn’t know the woman who lived at the house but another neighbour said they believed a man lived there with his old mum.
“It’s appalling to think that someone has tried to burn them to death in their own home. What kind of a person would do that?”
Another neighbour, Liz, 54, added to the Daily Mail: “I've known her for 40 years – I'm gutted. We've all grown up with her. It's heartbreaking. We are gutted.
“She was a lovely lady. She won't be forgotten around here. She will be missed.”
A 46-year-old man arrested on suspicion of murder has since been detained under the Mental Health Act following an assessment by experts, West Midlands Police said.
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