Police are treating a fire in Ashington as arson. Officers believe a wheelie bin was deliberately set on fire before it spread to a house through a window. The family who were inside the house on Portia Street had to be rescued at 3am. They were taken to hospital and treated for smoke inhalation.
"This was a distressing incident for the occupants of the house.
"Extra officers will be in the area to both reassure residents and to carry out enquiries into the fire and make sure those who are responsible are apprehended."
An investigation is now underway and police are asking anyone with information to come forward.
More top news
Emma Jesson brings you Saturday night's forecast
Christmas Eve could be rather frosty and at present, Christmas Day looks like being cold and clear with one or two wintry showers
Police are appealing for the public's help to trace a missing Sunderland man.