Mother relives fire deaths hell

Michelle Smith during a police press conference in February 2012 almost a month after the fire.
Michelle Smith during a police press conference in February 2012 almost a month after the fire.
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A tearful mum who lost four of her children in a horror blaze has relived the moment she realised fire was engulfing her children’s bedroom.

Michelle Smith wiped tears from her eyes as she told a court how she heard her children crying for her during the blaze at her 36th birthday party.

Reece Smith, 19, was pronounced dead at the scene on Lytham Road, Freckleton, after being overcome by smoke as he tried to rescue his youngest siblings, twins Holly and Ella, four and Jordan, two in January 2012.

Miss Smith said on the night of the fire she had been upstairs to settle Jordan and was in the kitchen speaking to Reece and another girl, Chloe Marshall, when Dyson Allen came running downstairs, saying “There’s a fire.”

Miss Smith told the murder trial at Preston Crown Court: “This is the part where it is all really patchy to me but the clearest part I can remember about this, which is absolutely certain in my mind is that he came down the stairs, he went past me, and he went out of the back door, saying ‘fire’.

“At this point I heard glass smashing and it was dark. I was still in the kitchen and I went into, it must have been some kind of shock.

“I don’t remember Reece going upstairs.”

Neil Flewitt QC, prosecuting, asked Miss Smith: “When did you realise where the fire was?”

To which she replied: “I realised it was the bedroom when the children were crying for me. I was in the kitchen. I don’t remember much after that...”

Miss Smith was shown photographs of a number of items of furniture from the house, which appeared to have burn marks on them but she had no idea how long they had been damaged or how the marks happened.

Allen, 19, of no fixed address, was staying with the family at the time of the fire. He denies murder and manslaughter.

(Proceeding)