News | Students left shaken by Woodhouse fire

Fire fighters were called to the scene of a blaze on Monday night as a home in Woodhouse went up in flames.

The house on the corner of Quarry Mount Street was set alight in an arson attack. A student neighbour described how he heard “screaming” during the night before the fire service arrived at approximately 11:06pm.

Mr. Fazil, a postgraduate student in Water, Sanitation and Health Engineering, was eating his dinner next door when the fire started.

“I’d just finished eating and I was upstairs. I heard some strange noise, like someone was smashing the windows open. I was thinking ‘maybe someone is trying to break into our house’.”

“I saw someone coming out of the [burning] house, it was a guy and he was screaming ‘Fire! It’s my house!’”

The student added that he was “scared to go back upstairs” for his phone and other belongings in case the fire had spread. He woke up his housemates to alert them to the danger posed by the fire.

A crowd of neighbours gathered in the street outside the house to witness the fire.

According to a spokesperson from West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue service: “The fire was extinguished by 23.43pm.”

Daniel Bird, aged 23 from Stainbeck Avenue, was charged with arson shortly after the incident. Bird appeared at Leeds Magistrates Court on Wednesday. The case was sent to trial at Leeds Crown Court later in February.

Mr. Fazil described the house as “pretty damaged”, adding that the incident had left him shaken, saying: “I’m scared now whenever I hear a noise downstairs.”

Sean Hayes

Photo: Ruslan Shumeiko

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