FIVE people were trapped in a blaze at a block of flats.

An arsonist is bel- ieved to have set a settee on fire outside the maisonettes at Windsor Gardens at Shaw Cross in Dewsbury last night.

The fire sent smoke pouring into the building just after 8pm.

The heat also burned through gas pipes and set escaping gas alight.

Three women and two men were trapped upstairs and a baby was handed down to neighbours before firefighters arrived.

Sub-officer Anthony Woodhead, of Dewsbury fire station, said: "The fire sent a lot of smoke into the maison- ettes, but the burning settee was just outside the main doors which were also badly damaged, trapping the people inside."

The first crew arrived from Ossett fire station and helped the five people upstairs escape down ladders.

They had breathed in smoke and were given oxygen. Two were taken to Dewsbury District Hospital for a check-up.

A Red Cross emergency support unit was called in to help the people who had had to leave their homes.

Firefighters let the gas burn off until gas engineers arrived.

One flat was badly smoke damaged and another flooded after the heat melted a pipe.