Daventry dad rescues son, three, from burning house as family are made homeless in suspected arson attack

Rebecca and Ashley Taylor have four children: (left to right) Emily, 10; Jaden, 8; Oliver, 3; and Charlotte, 1.
Rebecca and Ashley Taylor have four children: (left to right) Emily, 10; Jaden, 8; Oliver, 3; and Charlotte, 1.

A father-of-four saved his three-year-old son from their burning home in Daventry in a suspected arson attack.

Ashley Taylor, his wife Rebecca and their four children - aged one, three, eight and 10 - are without a home as a result of the blaze.

The fire started at the front of the house with the family able to escape out the back

The fire started at the front of the house with the family able to escape out the back

Police are treating the fire in The Stour, which began at about 4.30am on Monday (February 18), as suspicious.

"The smoke alarm was sounding and the missus woke up," said Mr Taylor, a 36-year-old bus driver.

"We could see the orange glow of the flames under the door.

"We managed to get down and out the back door.

The aftermath of the blaze

The aftermath of the blaze

"When I got out I realised Oliver was still inside so I ran up and got him."

He added: "That was terrifying. I heard him screaming for me at the top of the stairs. It's still in my head. It's been difficult."

When firefighters arrived on the scene they had to rush to save the family's dog Farrah, a seven-year-old Doberman-Staffordshire terrier cross.

The fire is believed to have been started deliberately after investigators couldn't find evidence to back up their original suspicions of an electrical fault.

Mr Taylor said there was a storage box at the front of the home which contained leftover wood from a previous job.

And it's thought the arsonist set the box alight but the Taylors are not thought to have been specifically targeted.

"We were lucky to get out. The smoke was to the point where we couldn't breathe," said Mr Taylor.

"The kids were a bit quiet but they're doing better now."

"We are truly grateful to the emergency services and all the family and friends who helped us," he added.

The Taylors are now staying at Rebecca's mother's house while their landlord tries to find them a new home.

Police believe that another fire shortly afterwards on The Grange is connected.

Shortly after 5am, also on Monday, a car fire in the nearby street, Dee Walk, was reported to Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service.

The blaze also spread to two further cars.

Daventry sector Sergeant Chris Thomas said: “Both crimes are are being treated as suspicious and being jointly investigated by the police and fire service.

“We would urge any witnesses or anyone who has information about these fires to please report this to the police or Crimestoppers.”

Work is on-going in Daventry as part of Operation Unite, which is tackling levels of arson and anti-social behaviour in the area.

Anyone with information about these fires should contact Northamptonshire Police on 101 or make an anonymous report to Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

Arson prevention advice:

Avoid placing bins, rubbish, or other combustible items against the walls of your home. These are a ready supply of fuel for an arsonist.

If rubbish can only be stored alongside your building, then please avoid putting it directly against the wall of your home, to minimise the chance of fire spreading.

Do not allow rubbish to accumulate in areas outside your home. Piles of discarded waste can be targets for deliberate fire setters.

Ensure you only place rubbish out for collection on the correct day.

Maintain good security in and around your home. Remember to close and lock any gates. Lock doors and windows when you go out. Make sure fencing is in a good state of repair.

Consider installing security lighting at your home to deter intruders.

Sheds and garages should be locked. Do not leave flammable liquids in the open.

If you see fly-tipped waste, then please report this immediately. Fly-tipped rubbish in the Daventry area can be reported by visiting www.daventrydc.gov.uk/online or by calling Daventry District Council on 01327 871100.