An investigation is underway after an elderly woman fell and died following an arson attack on a car at an adjoining property in Maghull in the early hours of today (Monday 5 August 2019).
Just after 1am a report was received to say a black Land Rover Discovery car had been set on fire on Highgate Road by two men, who used fireworks to ignite the vehicle.
It is believed the offenders then returned to a car parked in nearby Oakhill Road and made off from the area.
Police and Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service attended. The neighbouring property was affected by the smoke, and due to fears the fire could spread the two elderly occupants were advised to evacuate their home as a precaution while the fire was extinguished.
During the incident one of the residents evacuated, a woman in her 80s, fell and sustained a head injury. She was taken to hospital for treatment but sadly died this morning.
Her next of kin have been informed and are receiving support from specialist officers.
Police remain at the scene where forensic examinations are continuing. CCTV opportunities are being explored in the area and potential witnesses have been spoken to.
Detective Chief Inspector Gayle Rooney said: “The actions of the people who set this car on fire are completely reckless, with no regard for the safety of people living nearby.
“The couple next-door should have been tucked up in bed, but instead as a result of the actions of the offenders, emergency services were left with no option but to wake them in the early hours of the morning to get them to safety.
“Sadly, the 86-year-old lady died several hours after the incident and her family are now having to come to terms with her sudden loss.
“We believe this was a targeted attack and I would appeal to anybody who has any information about those involved in this despicable incident to contact Merseyside Police as soon as possible so we can bring those responsible to justice.”
An investigation into the arson and the circumstances of the woman’s fall is ongoing and anyone with information is asked to contact Merseyside Police social media desk via Twitter @MerPolCC or Facebook Merseyside Police CC. You can also call 101 quoting incident reference 51 of 5 August or contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously, on 0800 555 111 or via their online form at: https://crimestoppers-uk.org/give-information/give-information.