Arson probes are under way after Leeds blazes UPDATED

The house on Ellers Road in Harehills, Leeds.
The house on Ellers Road in Harehills, Leeds.
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Suspected arson attacks which tore through two buildings within a 10-hour period are under investigation in Leeds.

In one of the attacks, six people were led to safety by firefighters.

In the other, a group of firefighters risked their lives to search a three-storey blazing building – but found nobody inside.

The first blaze involved a three-storey mid-terrace house on Ellers Road in Harehills, Leeds.

The alarm was raised just after 6.20pm on Monday.

Crews from four Leeds fire stations raced to the scene after reports that people were trapped.

Firefighters from Leeds Central were the first to arrive, followed by crews from Moortown, Stanks and Gipton fire stations.

Moortown watch commander Jens Archer said fire was raging on all three floors.

He said: “We could see the smoke coming down from Moortown. There were persons reported inside. We put as much air into the property as we could – if you think there are people in there you put in as much air as possible to keep them alive.

“We sent in four breathing apparatus crews with hose reels to search the property.”

Nobody was found but the fire is believed to have been started at several spots, indicating arson.

Two houses either side were evacuated after becoming smoke-logged but no-one was injured.

The second suspected attack took place at a Chinese takeaway called Eastern Ocean, on Kirkstall Road, yesterday morning.

The shop has two-storey accommodation above and the alarm was raised at around 3.45am.

Firefighters from Leeds Central fire station less than a mile away were quickly on the scene.

Watch commander Shaun Gautey said the alarm was raised by a resident who opened the rear door to give access to the crews.

“Six people were led down stairs to safety,” he said.

The fire appeared to have started beneath a ground-floor window and is under investigation.

The car which caught fire. Photo: West Yorkshire Police

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