AN ARSON probe is under way after a family of five, including three young children, were hospitalised after a house fire in Ebbw Vale early today.

Police scenes of crime officers and fire investigators were today due to begin examining a damaged end-of-terrace house in Ashgrove, in the Ty Llwyn area.

Two adults and three children, believed to be aged eight, seven and six, were taken by ambulance to Nevill Hall Hospital, Abergavenny, suffering from smoke inhalation and burns after the blaze swept through the house.

Their condition is not yet known.

Officers say eyewitnesses told them that the mother of the children jumped from the upstairs window, as did a man, believed to be her boyfriend, and they then used a ladder to rescue the youngsters.

The blaze broke out at around 4.30am. The house was said to be well alight and full of smoke when firefighters arrived at the scene.

A neighbour, who did not wish to be named, said the mother jumped from the window of the upper floor into the garden.

She added: "I saw her leaning over the railings of the garden and she was shouting as loud as she could for help.

"Neighbours ran for ladders and brought everyone out from the upper floor.

"One neighbour kicked down the door, but I think they were all rescued with the ladder."