Page last updated at 16:21 GMT, Saturday, 3 May 2008 17:21 UK

Flats fire 'started deliberately'

A fire at flats from which three elderly people were rescued was started by arsonists, police have confirmed.

Two men, both aged 80, and a 74-year-old woman were taken to hospital following the blaze at Peel Garden in Colne, Lancashire.

Lancashire police said a recycling box was set alight at the front door.

Insp Simon Cheyte said: "We are treating this incident very seriously as this could have quite easily turned into a fatal house fire."

The box, containing paper, was at the main entrance to the building.

The fire spread quickly, police said, through the entrance and to the stairs.

All three pensioners were suffering smoke inhalation and one of the men and the woman remain in hospital.

Insp Cheyte said forensic examinations revealed the blaze was started deliberately and urged anyone with information to come forward.

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