Sabrina Rushton, 31, and her 13-year-old daughter, Rubi-Mae Martin, remain in hospital following the blaze in Bentilee on Thursday, December 16 with four arrests made as part of a police investigation into the blaze
Image: BPM MEDIA)
A mother and daughter are fighting for their lives after a horrendous house fire broke out.
Sabrina Rushton, aged 31, and her 13-year-old daughter, Rubi-Mae Martin, remain in hospital following the blaze in Bentilee on Thursday, December 16.
Care worker Sabrina jumped for her life from a first floor window after daughter Rubi-Mae had already managed to fight her way through the blaze to escape.
Neighbours reported hearing a smashed window seconds before the terrified 31-year-old was discovered in the front garden of her home.
One neighbour told StokeonTrentLive : “I was one of the first people on the scene. I saw the girl crying in the garden and I asked her who was in the house.
“She said ‘help, help, my mum’s in there’. I took her across the road to the opposite house and ran back to find her mum on her hands and knees in the front garden.
“Just before I found her I heard the upstairs window smash and I think she jumped out of the window and landed in the front garden.
“There was loads of smoke, it was crazy. As soon as I knew everyone was out of the house I backed off. It was my first instinct to run over and help.
“The young girl had burns all up her arm. She was shaking, she was traumatised.
“The daughter had managed to get out before her mum. I’m presuming she was downstairs and her mum was upstairs.”
Three men were arrested and bailed as part of the police investigation into the cause of the fire, Stoke-on-Trent Live reports. Two have been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and one of wounding with intent.
A teenager was also arrested at Manchester Airport on suspicion of attempted murder.
The community has rallied around and an online fundraiser has been launched which has already raised almost £2,000. Donations including clothes, cutlery, household items and Christmas gifts have also been dropped off at collection points.
Appeal organiser and family friend Jenna Plant, aged 32, from Bucknall, said: “When I heard what had happened I broke down. I was saying to my friend ‘it hits hard when it’s so close to home as it is but it hits harder when you know the person’.
“I am a member of St John’s Church, in Abbey Hulton, and when I found out I felt like I needed to do something. Something inside me told me to do what I think is right. So I set up the page and it’s done really well.
“We’ve had donations from Treehouse Children’s Centre. We’ve sorted clothes out for Rubi-Mae for when she comes out of hospital.
“We’ve had donations of dinner sets and cutlery and a few household items. It’s nothing too big for the minute.
“The support has been amazing. I’ve been feeling overwhelmed with everything that’s been donated.
“I’m so glad that I can help in some way so when they come out of hospital they have got something there to be able to start their life again. Their whole life was in the house and there’s nothing left of it. Knowing they’ve got the support behind them might help them to cope.
“I would like to say a massive thank you to everyone who has donated. I wasn’t expecting it to hit off like it has.
“We’ve had donations from the Co-Op, in Bentilee. We have Heron foods doing a stamp collection so that once she is out and she has somewhere to live she hasn’t got to think about shopping because she could use the stamps.
“It’s amazing to know that at such a bad time the community can come together and help one another.”
A Staffordshire Police spokesman said: “Officers have arrested a fourth man in connection with a house fire in Bentilee last week.
“An 18-year-old man from the Stoke-on-Trent area was arrested at Manchester Airport on Wednesday on suspicion of attempted murder.
“He has since been released on conditional police bail. Inquiries are continuing.”
Support the fundraising appeal here.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.