Lancashire

Freckleton fire: Probe 'focuses on attic bedrooms'

Reece, Ella and Holly and Jordan Smith
Image caption Reece, Ella and Holly and Jordan Smith were found in two attic bedrooms of the dormer bungalow

Fire officers investigating the cause of a blaze which killed three children and a 19-year-old say they are focusing on two bedrooms where they were found.

Reece Smith, 19, four-year-old twins Holly and Ella Smith and two-year-old Jordan Smith died of smoke inhalation in the fire in Freckleton, Lancashire.

The blaze started in the dormer bungalow in Lytham Road at about 23:20 GMT on Saturday.

Their mother, 36-year-old Michelle Smith, was unhurt.

The fire service and police are carrying out a joint investigation into the cause of the fire.

'Chaotic situation'

Phil Cox, of Lancashire Fire and Rescue, said: "We are centring on two attic bedrooms which is where the victims were found.

"That work is looking to pinpoint a cause and a location."

He said crews had been met with a "chaotic situation" when they arrived at the scene on Saturday night.

When they made their way into the house they were met with such black, acrid smoke that "everything was done by touch".

Image caption Floral tributes have been left outside the house

A spokesman for Lancashire Police said officers were still treating the cause of the blaze as "unexplained".

It is understood Ms Smith, a mother of nine, had been celebrating her birthday on Saturday and a party had been held in the house.

Local residents have left floral tributes to the victims outside the house.

Ms Smith's father Keith Smith, 56, said: "It's devastating and there's no way to turn the clock back

"It does help though when you know other people care, even if they're not in your situation."

Tracy Dearnley, acting head teacher at the twins' school, Lytham CE Primary, said: "The twins had been in our reception class since September and were happy, creative and caring young children who will be missed enormously.

"We held a special assembly on Monday morning to tell our pupils about what happened at the weekend and we will be doing everything we can to support them through this difficult time."

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