Leeds & West Yorkshire

Harehills arson: Cab driver may hold clue in manhunt

Taxi Image copyright West Yorkshire Police
Image caption The black and white cab picked up a fare shortly after the fire started, a short distance away from the house, and headed towards Leeds city centre

Police believe a taxi driver may have vital information about an arson attack on a house in Leeds where a mother and her two children had to be rescued from the top floor.

The home on Hill Top Mount, Harehills, was set alight through the letterbox in the early hours of 24 January.

A mother and her five-year-old son, and 14-year-old daughter, were rescued from the attic by firefighters.

A taxi driver collected a fare near the house shortly after the fire started.

More on this story and others in West Yorkshire

West Yorkshire Police said the woman and children were taken to hospital for the effects of inhaling smoke and later discharged.

A short while after the fire started, a black and white cab picked up a fare at 01:35 GMT a short distance away from the mid-terrace house, outside BGT Landa Plumbing and Heating Supplies and headed towards Leeds city centre.

Det Insp Dave McDougal hoped the driver would get in touch "as a potential witness".

"The fire quickly spread through the downstairs of the house and to the stairwell leaving the victims no option but to seek refuge in the attic," he said.

"If it hadn't been for the courageous actions of the fire service, this incident could easily have had very tragic consequences."

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