A suspect is helping police with their enquiries over an early hours house fire from which three children under the age of five had to escape, including a three-month-old baby.

Fire crews were called to Cliveden Road, Lache, at the junction with Poplar Road about 1.40am on Friday after neighbours dialled 999 and knocked on the door after hearing a loud bang.

The blaze appears to have started in a store room integral to the structure of the house. The suspect, who has not been named, was arrested in the vicinity of the property.

The rear of the house
The rear of the house
 

Householder Christine Lennon, who works at the nearby Local shop, plus her three grandchildren and the father of the youngest, all escaped unharmed.

The teenage father of the baby, who did not wish to be identified, said his son was ‘fine’. The other two children – a girl and a boy – are believed to be aged three and four years old.

The teenager explained that a neighbour knocked on the door after hearing a loud bang.

The fire had begun to spread but fortunately no smoke had entered the building.

He grabbed the garden hose in an attempt to extinguish the flames before the fire service arrived.

He said videos and photographs of the children had all been lost in the blaze.

Police officers investigate after the fire
Police officers investigate after the fire
 

The next door neighbour said she got up in the night to go to the bathroom when she heard ‘a big bang’ She rang the fire service while her husband knocked on next door.

They were worried about a scooter adjacent to the fire because of its petrol tank.

The neighbour said: “I was just glad to get the kids out.”

Inspector Kevin Chambers of Cheshire Police confirmed a male was arrested in the ‘proximity’ of the house on suspicion of arson.