A BLAZE in Charminster Road on Saturday that left a woman trapped in her flat was malicious, police have said.

Detectives in Bournemouth are appealing for witnesses and anyone with information to come forward after the fire, in the Queens Park area of town.

Police received a report of a property on fire at 9.10am.

Officers attended and Dorset Fire and Rescue Service extinguished the blaze.

The occupant, a 55-year-old local woman, was rescued from the house and taken to hospital with smoke inhalation.

She has since been discharged.

Her three dogs also had to be rescued by crews from a first-floor window.

Detective Constable Shanena Stewart, of Bournemouth and Poole CID, said: “The fire is being treated as suspicious, and we have begun a full investigation into the circumstances.

“This fire caused extensive damage to the front door and minor smoke damage to the interior of the property.

“There were no signs of forced entry and we do not suspect any offenders entered the premises, albeit it is believed this was a deliberate ignition and not accidental. It is extremely fortunate that nobody was injured in this incident, and could have been far worse had it not been for the quick actions of neighbours.

“I am appealing for anyone who may have seen someone acting suspiciously in the area prior to the incident, or has any information regarding the offender to contact us in confidence using the non-emergency number 101.”