A fire that sent a family fleeing from a smouldering home in the northwest end yesterday morning was the work of arsonists, officials said yesterday.

A newspaper carrier frantically alerted sleeping occupants around 4:30 a.m. that the porch of the brown bungalow on 122 Avenue and 128 Street was on fire, and the flames were spreading.

Four adults and four children were in the home when the blaze erupted. Five people had to be rescued from the basement.

A two-year-old boy was rushed to the University of Alberta hospital for smoke inhalation, but was released in stable condition hours later.

Emergency services spokesman John Muir said damages are pegged at over $500,000.
It is not known yet how those responsible initially set the blaze.

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