Shock as boy, 2, killed in house blaze

A COMMUNITY has been left in shock after a two-year-old boy died in a house fire despite desperate efforts by family and neighbours to save him.Smoke was billowing from the upstairs windows of the home at The Nordalls in Kessingland when the alarm was raised at about 8.

By David Lennard

A COMMUNITY has been left in shock after a two-year-old boy died in a house fire despite desperate efforts by family and neighbours to save him.

Smoke was billowing from the upstairs windows of the home at The Nordalls in Kessingland when the alarm was raised at about 8.30am yesterday .

Three fire crews from Lowestoft and one from Wrentham were quickly on the scene and managed to pluck the youngster from his bedroom.

But the boy, whose first name is understood to be Tye, was pronounced dead at the James Paget Hospital in Gorleston despite efforts to save him.

The blaze, which is not being treated as suspicious, was under control within 20 minutes and onlookers said the fire crews wearing breathing apparatus had rescued the youngster within seconds of their arrival.

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Earlier, neighbours could only watch in horror as Tye's father made frantic efforts to rescue him but was beaten back by the thick black smoke.

Jason Garbutt, who lives next door, said he was having his breakfast when he heard the desperate cries for help.

“I ran outside and there was the lady with her eldest son at the back window.

“She was able to lower the child to me and another neighbour and then we persuaded her to jump from the window,” said Mr Garbutt.

The two neighbours managed to break the woman's fall as she jumped.

Meanwhile the father had escaped through the front of the house and was desperately trying to get back in to rescue his youngest son.

Another neighbour, Adam Jones, said he only knew the couple who lived at the house as Jimmy and Helen and that Helen had to be persuaded to jump to safety.

Mr Jones' partner Janet Parker wrapped the oldest boy Johnny Lee, who had been dropped to safety, in a blanket and held him until the ambulance crews arrived.

It is believed the family had been living at the house for less than a year.

Assistant Divisional Officer John Cook said an investigation into the cause of the fire was still being carried out but confirmed that the blaze was not being treated as suspicious.

Tragically, there was not a working smoke detector in the house.

“There was a smoke detector fitted but the battery wasn't connected.

“There was no detector fitted on the first floor which would have given an early warning,” said Mr Cook.

The parents and their eldest child were also taken to the James Paget Hospital. The youngster was detained overnight after suffering smoke inhalation.

“They were a family that very much kept themselves to themselves,” said Ms Parker. “We didn't see a great deal of them outside their own little unit but they loved their children dearly.”

As residents were trying to come to terms with the tragedy, flowers were being left on the front lawn.

Waveney District Council officials have boarded up the fire-damaged house and a spokesman said the family will be offered emergency accommodation if they needed it.

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