A FAMILY has been left homeless after an arson attack at their house - but it could have been much worse had it not been for their pet dog.
The summer house of the property on Sykes Court, Swinton, was set alight at around 4.20am this morning and the flames spread to the roof of the main house.
The occupants, a woman aged in her 40s and her teenage son, were asleep at the time but their dog alerted them to the blaze by barking.
They managed to get out unharmed and phoned emergency services.
A South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said: “They had a very lucky escape.
“The smoke alarm did sound but the dog’s barking also got them up. They managed to get out and did not require hospital treatment.”
Firefighters from Dearne and Rotherham stations arrived at the scene and worked quickly to put the flames out, preventing them from spreading beyond the roof space.
Fire crews had to remove part of the roof to get at the flames, tackling the blaze from above using an aerial platform and hose reels.
Residents in neighbouring properties were evacuated as a precaution, but were allowed to return to their homes later on Friday morning.
The woman and her son were given support by volunteers from the Fire Victim Support Unit.
It is believed the terraced house is a council property and they will be re-housed.
A fire brigade spokesman said: “It is believed the fire was started deliberately and we will be working with the police to investigate.”
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.