A heartbroken sister today paid an emotional tribute to the brother who saved his parents and three siblings as a fire ripped through their home.
Ryan Lumb raised the alarm when a fire broke out in their home on Boothroyden, Claremont, in June 2002, ensuring his parents Ernest and Paula, sisters Kylie and Shannon and brother Colt escaped.
Tragically, his younger brothers Gage, eight, Arnie, five, and Calum, four, died in the blaze.
Miss Lumb, now 25, said: “If it wasn’t for Ryan’s wake-up call none of us would have survived that night.”
It wasn’t the first time Mr Lumb, who was then aged 15, had helped save a life. Just two months previously he, with his friend Richard Fleming, came to the rescue of 14-year-old Daniel O’Rourke who got into difficulties in the sea off Gynn Square.
But the devastation of losing his brothers took its toll.
Unable to cope, he sunk into a depression and turned to drink and drugs. Miss Lumb said: “We were all struggling, but we’ve always been there for each other and have stayed as one unit. We’ve had to.”
But 10 years on Mr Lumb was still struggling to come to terms will his family’s loss, as well as the loss of Kylie’s 10-month-old son to a heart condition in 2010.
In December last year he took an overdose of heroin and cocaine, which resulted in lasting physical disabilities.
On May 25 he was discovered at a flat on Egerton Road, Blackpool, seemingly in cardiac arrest.
He was taken to Blackpool Victoria Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Tests showed he had taken a significant amount of heroin, which led to his death.
Blackpool and Fylde coroner Alan Wilson said: “There are significant issues it seems in Ryan’s history.
“He was involved in a very sad incident that led to losing his brothers in a fire. He seems to have used alcohol and drugs to cope with the trauma of that event.
“He was assessed as being someone who was suffering heavily from anxiety and low mood – issues related to the guilt he was carrying of that incident.”
Mr Lumb, of Rice Grove, Claremont, was referred to Blackpool Social workers, due to depression, by his GP in 2008, and again in 2011 when he was diagnosed with a depressive disorder and alcohol dependency.
The inquest was told he would be OK one week, then he’d have a fit and it would take him a couple of days to come back from it. He’d be “laid up not able to move or do anything” for himself.
Speaking after the inquest at Blackpool Town Hall, Ryan’s father said: “His family misses him – everyone in North Shore misses him.”
Miss Lumb, who now lives in Sheffield, said: “Ryan was well known, and everyone’s going to miss him.
“He was larger than life and had a heart of gold. He was by biggest brother and I looked up to him so much.
“He was a son and brother who was loved so dearly. He was a big part of our lives and now that’s gone. He was everything.”
Miss Lumb said her brother struggled with the after effects of his overdose, and his family believed social services had let him down.
“He was not able to do things he was used to doing,” she said.
The inquest heard that Mr Lumb died of the toxic effects of taking heroin, and Mr Wilson concluded that his death was drug related.