New lead after TV fire appeal

Michelle Smith on Crimewatch. The tragic mum lost four of her children in a fire in Freckleton (below from left) Reece, twins Holly and Ella and Jordan Smith. Bottom - Det Supt Dermott Horrigan.

Michelle Smith on Crimewatch. The tragic mum lost four of her children in a fire in Freckleton (below from left) Reece, twins Holly and Ella and Jordan Smith. Bottom - Det Supt Dermott Horrigan.

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POLICE say they have a new lead in their investigation into who started a fire which killed four young siblings.

A major investigation is ongoing to try to establish the cause of the blaze which killed 19-year-old Reece Smith, four-year-old twins Holly and Ella Smith and Jordan Smith, aged two, who all died from smoke inhalation after a wardrobe was allegedly set on fire in a bedroom.

Reece, twins Holly and Ella and Jordan Smith.

Reece, twins Holly and Ella and Jordan Smith.

Mum Michelle Smith went on BBC’s Crimewatch last night to plead for information about the blaze, which happened during a party at her house on Lytham Road, Freckleton, on Saturday, January 7.

And the detective leading the inquiry later told viewers they had been contacted with the name of someone they believed could be involved.

Det Supt Dermott Horrigan, from Lancashire Police’s major investigation team, said: “We’ve had several calls – one in particular that has named a certain individual, someone I’m particularly interested in.

“It is terribly shocking for the family that a party goer has set fire to the wardrobe.

Det Supt Dermott Horrigan

Det Supt Dermott Horrigan

“This has been a long and painstaking investigation. I know a lot about the fire but I don’t know why.

“Was this something that got out of hand or was it a deliberate attempt to hurt the children?

“There is someone out there who knows what has happened but hasn’t come forward.”

The fire broke out on January 7 during a party to celebrate their Ms Smith’s 36th birthday at the bungalow.

The programme described how the lights in the house went out just after 11pm as the fire spread and burnt through the property’s electrics.

Reece Smith tried to get the children out of the bedroom but became over-powered by the smoke.

His mother said: “All I can remember is standing there, feeling numb. I can remember shouting get my babies out.”

“I was expecting Reece to come out with Jordan and the twins and expecting everything to be fine, but no.

“Every time I look at their pictures and see their smiling faces, it’s devastating to me. It’s killing me inside.”

She added: “Jordan was two, he was a cheeky little boy who was into everything.

“Holly and Ella were twins, born 10 minutes apart.

“They used to fight, as you would expect with twins, but when they weren’t fighting they were always cuddling each other, holding hands and being friends.

“Reece was like my best friend as well as my son.

“He was a sixth form, studying engineering, doing really well.”