Police have confirmed that a man has died after a suspected arson attack in Huddersfield which led to a family leaping for their lives.

Huddersfield Hub reported at the weekend how the family-of-four was lucky to be alive after fire quickly engulfed their flat on Hillhouse Lane just off Bradford Road, Hillhouse, destroying everything they own.

But at that point it wasn’t known that a 52-year-old man in the flat directly below their first floor home had been critically injured in the fire which happened in the early hours of last Wednesday, February 14.

He was taken to Huddersfield Royal Infirmary where he sadly lost his fight for life on Sunday.

A 42-year-old man arrested shortly after the fire is still being questioned by detectives from West Yorkshire Police’s Homicide and Major Enquiry Team.

A police statement says: “A 52-year-old man who suffered serious injuries in the blaze was taken to hospital but passed away early on Sunday, February 18.

“Police are continuing to question a 42-year-old man who was arrested in connection with the fire. Investigations into the cause of the blaze remain ongoing with West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service.”

The family who escaped spoke exclusively to Huddersfield Hub a few days ago and the photos they have of the damage shows the sheer intensity of the blaze which destroyed both their flat and the one downstairs where the man was found badly hurt.

The family is Inas Himedan, husband Yousef Khaled and their young daughters Lina, four, and three-year-old Lujane.

A fund has been set up to help the family who were left with nothing and are now in an emergency council property in Crosland Moor. The Hillhouse flat was also a council property and they had no insurance for their contents.

Inas revealed the family has been targeted before and were living in fear at the time of the fire.

Inas was asleep at around 2.30am on Wednesday morning when she thought she heard a noise. She went to the top of the stairs, looked down and could see the front door on fire with smoke pouring in.

She shouted at Yousef to get up and the couple grabbed their daughters from their bedroom and escaped into the living-room to get as far from the fire as they could. There is only one entrance to the flat so they were trapped.

They opened the window and smoke then started to pour in from outside. They had no option but to leap for their lives. Yousef jumped first with Lina and landed heavily, hurting his leg. Inas then passed Lujane down to him before jumping. She’s been left covered in bruises.

“The flat was totally engulfed in flames by then and has been completely destroyed,” she said. “We’ve been left with nothing – we didn’t even have our shoes on. If I hadn’t woken up when I did by chance, we’d certainly not have survived.

“We’ve lived there for three years and it’s been a nightmare.”

Inas revealed that her car, a black Fiat Punto, was stolen the same night and Yousef’s car, which he needs for his work as a food delivery driver, has been attacked and damaged.

She added: “What’s happened to us has been very traumatic and we are all still so scared. We are struggling to sleep because we know we are very lucky to be alive today.”

Inas has a pharmacist background and has been studying for a Masters degree at the University of Bradford to qualify as a physician associate to work alongside GPs.

Anyone with information about the fire should contact HMET via the live chat function on the website or by calling 101 quoting Operation Prairie referece 13240083542.

Information can also be given anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. 

Anyone who wants to help the family can donate to their gofundme page at https://bit.ly/3uEiDC2 and over £4,000 has been raised so far.

Written by ANDY HIRST who runs his own Yorkshire freelance journalism agency AH! PR (https://ah-pr.com/) specialising in press releases, blogging, website content and copywriting.