Two women arrested after 86 year old Maghull woman fell and died following an arson attack

An elderly Maghull woman died after falling during an arson attack near her house.

By Conor Marlborough
Thursday, 8th August 2019, 1:09 pm
Updated Thursday, 8th August 2019, 2:09 pm
Margo Rugens died while evacuating her home.
Margo Rugens died while evacuating her home.

Margo Rugen, 86, died hours after falling while evacuating her home on Highgate Road in Maghull when a nearby car was set on fire in the early hours of Monday.

Police initially thought the black Land Rover Discovery had been torched by two men, but announced yesterday that two women have been arrested in connection with the arson attack.

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Margo Rugens died while evacuating her home.

Officers said that the emergency services at the scene had decided to evacuate Rugen and her husband from their house over concerns that the fire could spread.

But as she was leaving her home, Margo Rugen fell and suffered a head injury. She was taken to hospital but died hours later.

A 21-year-old woman from Kirkby and a 22 year-old woman from Huyton have been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit arson with intent to endanger life.

Both have now been released on conditional bail.

Officers believe the fire was a "targeted attack", and said the offenders had used fireworks to set the car alight before taking off in a car parked in nearby Oakhill Road.

Margo Rugen's family paid tribute to her memory: "Margo, even at 86, was a very positive and focused human being with a strong character and a great sense of humour.

"She was completely dedicated to the care of her beloved husband George as he has become more and more frail and in need of physical support.

"Even on that tragic night, she died because of the injuries she sustained trying to protect him from danger.

"We are so immensely grateful for the neighbours who helped her on that night, to the wonderful medical staff at Aintree Hospital and to Sefton Police for their support in our time of great sadness. Thank you."

Detective Chief Inspector Gayle Rooney said: “The actions of the people who set this car on fire are completely reckless, with no regard for the safety of people living nearby.

“The couple next-door should have been tucked up in bed, but instead as a result of the actions of the offenders, emergency services were left with no option but to wake them in the early hours of the morning to get them to safety.

“Sadly, the 86-year-old lady died several hours after the incident and her family are now having to come to terms with her sudden loss.

“We believe this was a targeted attack and I would appeal to anybody who has any information about those involved in this despicable incident to contact Merseyside Police as soon as possible so we can bring those responsible to justice.”