Children with matches caused tragic fire

FIRE officers confirmed yesterday that the house blaze in which a two-year-old boy died was caused by youngsters playing with matches.Suffolk police have named the boy who died in the fire at The Nordalls, Kessingland, near Lowestoft, as Tyrone Reay.

By David Lennard

FIRE officers confirmed yesterday that the house blaze in which a two-year-old boy died was caused by youngsters playing with matches.

Suffolk police have named the boy who died in the fire at The Nordalls, Kessingland, near Lowestoft, as Tyrone Reay.

Tyrone was trapped in the bedroom of the family home by thick black smoke as the fire took hold and despite desperate efforts by his family and neighbours could not be reached.

Fire crews were on the scene in minutes after the alarm was raised at about 8.30am on Wednesday and quickly rescued the youngster but he was certified dead at the James Paget Hospital.

Tyrone's three-and-a-half year old brother, Johnny Lee, also suffered smoke inhalation and was kept in hospital overnight but was expected to be released last night .

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The boys' parents also received hospital treatment but were not seriously hurt.

A spokesman for Waveney District Council said the family were offered emergency accommodation in the Lowestoft area but were thought to be staying with a close relative.

As fire officers carried out an investigation into the blaze it became clear that a smoke detector in the house was not working and that the fire was started by the boys playing with matches.

Chris Turnock, assistant chief fire officer with Suffolk Fire Service, said: "I can confirm that the fire in Kessingland yesterday, which resulted in the tragic death of a young boy, was the result of children playing with matches in the house.

"The fire officers involved in this particularly sad incident would like to extend their fullest sympathies to the boy's family."

Mr Turnock also said that the tragedy emphasised the importance of working smoke alarms.

"This was a preventable fire which should serve as a stark reminder of the real dangers of fire and the vital importance of smoke alarms.

"We would like to remind people that matches should be kept away from children at all times and that smoke alarms need to be installed but importantly, regularly checked," he said.

"Families and individuals also need to plan in advance how they would evacuate their homes in the event of a fire," said Mr Turnock.

Suffolk Fire Service has recently seen a 30% increase in cases where a smoke alarm does not work because the battery was disconnected, missing or needed replacing.

Smoke alarms are cheap at less than £5 and available in DIY stores and at many supermarkets.

Mr Turnock said the public needed to ensure that their smoke alarm met the BS5446 Part 1 standard, has a "kitemark" and are fitted in accordance with the instructions provided.

The Lowestoft Coroner has been informed of Tyrone's death and an inquest will be held at a later date.

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