Merseyside Police has confirmed that emergency services are currently at several addresses in Birkenhead following reports of multiple fires in the area.
Just after 4.50am this morning officers were called to a report of a fire at an address on Claughton Road that had caused damage to other properties.
Nine other fires to skips and vehicles in the nearby area were also reported.
Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service attended and extinguished the fires in the area. Houses around the properties were evacuated and road closures were in place in the surrounding area.
Several people have been taken to hospital with injuries caused from smoke inhalation and are in a stable condition. Two police officers were also taken to hospital after suffering dog bites to their arm and hand.
Fire crews arrived to find two terraced houses with the ground floor of one well alight. This fire had spread to the property next door. Two firefighters entered one house under rapid deployment, rescuing two people. Both were conscious and breathing.
Three teams of two firefighters wearing breathing apparatus fought the larger fire in the property next door with hose reels while also searching the property for occupants.
Firefighters led a third person to safety from a third property along the terrace to ensure their safety and evacuated other neighbouring properties.
The house fires are now extinguished and people rescued at the scene are being treated by North West Ambulance Service for smoke inhalation. All persons have been accounted for.
Further reports and examinations have established that the fires may have been caused deliberately at present.
A 31-year-old man from Egremont has been arrested on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life. He has been taken to a police station in Merseyside for further questioning.
A joint investigation between Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service and Merseyside Police is ongoing and anyone with any information is asked to contact police.
Chief Inspector Colin Dyer said, “We are working closely with Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service in establishing the cause of this horrifying incident that has caused severe damage to several people’s homes and left one house destroyed in Birkenhead.
“Although we have made an arrest, I would ask anyone who lives in the area and saw or heard anything from around 4.30am onwards this morning to come forward.
“You may have doorbell footage or have been passing the houses in a vehicle which has dashcam. Please check, as this could be vital to our investigation.”
Anyone who witnessed the incident or with any information can contact Merseyside Police by DM via their social media desk on Twitter @MerPolCC or Facebook ‘Merseyside Police Contact Centre’ with reference to 203 of Saturday 17 June.
You can also contact the independent charity Crime stoppers anonymously, on 0800 555 111 or via their online form at: https://crimestoppers-uk.org/give-information/give-information