Two men trapped in their blazing home have been rescued by firefighters following an arson attack.

The two residents rang 999 just before 5am this morning after a smoke alarm alerted them to a fire near the front door of their first floor flat in Peridot Fold, Fartown. The flat has one entrance and the blaze was preventing them from escaping.

Two fire crews from Huddersfield and one from Brighouse were promptly on the scene. Two Huddersfield Blue Watch firefighters smashed down the door and rescued the residents while their colleagues put out the fire.

The two men, one in his 20s and the other in his 50s, were treated for smoke inhalation at the scene by paramedics. Fire damage was limited to the hall and door of the flat.

The address is being treated as a crime scene and has been cordoned off by police.

The rescue marked a dramatic final shift for Andy Blackburn, 55, who is retiring after eight years as Blue Watch Commander, having begun his career as a probationer in Huddersfield 29 years ago.

Fire at Peridot Fold, Fartown
Fire at Peridot Fold, Fartown
 

He said: “Two of our firefighters broke down the door and rescued the two men. They were fairly shook up, it was a very frightening experience, but it could have been a lot worse. We are treating it as a deliberate ignition.

“It was a great way to finish off my career. We are here to save lives and that is what we did. We rescued the two men and there is a sense of satisfaction of a job well done and a great career.

“In the fire service today, we have fantastic gear, technology and fire engines, but it is the people behind that who make all the difference.

“I have worked with a fantastic team at Blue Watch. We have lots of jokes but when we are called out, we get stuck in and get the job done. We are still  the people’s service.

“I am leaving the Watch in the very capable hands of Watch Commander Andy Rose, who is joining us from Halifax. “

A police spokesman confirmed that the cause of the fire was thought to be deliberate and that their enquiries are ongoing.