Manchester

Sister fire attack: Petrol stations warned in hunt for brother

Stephen Archer Image copyright GMP
Image caption Police have released CCTV images of a man on a bike with a backpack leaving the scene after the attack

Police hunting a man suspected of setting fire to his sister have asked petrol station workers to keep a look out for him.

Stephen Archer, 50, of Openshaw in Manchester, is a suspect in the attack at his 49-year-old sister's home that left the victim with 70% burns.

Detectives say initial investigations suggest petrol was thrown over her before she was set alight.

Petrol station staff have been urged to contact police if they see Mr Archer.

Image copyright GMP
Image caption Stephen Archer has links to the Openshaw, Marple and Romiley areas

Supt Arif Nawaz, of Greater Manchester Police, said: "We are appealing to those who work in petrol stations to be extra vigilant and call police if you think you see him.

"Stephen usually wears a baseball cap and carries a large rucksack. He is known to travel on a bicycle.

"We have reason to believe Stephen could be carrying several bottles of petrol in his backpack and a man was seen fitting his description cycling away from the scene.

"We have followed several leads and have received some very helpful information but unfortunately we have still not found him."

Image copyright Greater Manchester Police
Image caption Police have released CCTV of a man with a backpack who fled on a bicycle.

The victim remains in a serious condition and is fighting for her life in hospital.

A police spokesman said: "She is still critically ill and our specialist support officers are supporting the family through this extremely difficult time.

"We can assure the victim, the family and the wider public that we are doing everything we can to find the person responsible and bring them to justice."

A 19-year-old woman escaped uninjured from an upstairs window of the house, with help from neighbours.

Image copyright Greater Manchester Police
Image caption The house was badly damaged by the fire

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