‘When I heard it was twins, I knew’

Holly and Ella Smith, 4, who died in a house fire in Lytham Road, Freckleton
Holly and Ella Smith, 4, who died in a house fire in Lytham Road, Freckleton
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THE family of four children killed in a tragic house blaze have spoken of their devastation at their loss.

Four-year-old twins, Holly and Ella, two-year-old Jordan and 19-year-old Reece all died in the fire which broke out during their mother Michelle Smith’s 36th birthday party on Saturday night.

Jordan Smith, 2, who died in a house fire in Lytham Road, Freckleton

Jordan Smith, 2, who died in a house fire in Lytham Road, Freckleton

Firefighters were called to the blaze on Lytham Road, Freckleton, at around 11.20pm and desperately battled to bring the flames under control.

Officers went into the building and managed to carry the unconscious children out - but tragically all died shortly afterwards at Royal Preston Hospital.

It is understood Reece bravely ran into the house to save his siblings before fire crews arrived.

Killed

Reece Smith

Reece Smith

The youngsters’ mother Michelle Smith, who has five other children, was led to safety. She is currently being comforted by family members.

Ms Smith’s father Keith Smith, 56, said he was “beyond devastated”.

He said: “I was driving into Blackpool when I turned the radio on and heard four people had been killed at a fire in a bungalow in Freckleton.

“My first thought was of Michelle, I was hoping it wasn’t her, but when the reporter said twins had been killed I just knew it was my family.

“I am beyond devastated, they had been doing the house up and hadn’t been in it long, it was their grandmother’s.”

Mr Smith, of Lightburne Avenue, St Annes, said he last saw Michelle and her children at Christmas.

He said: “I popped in to see them all and to give them their presents, I had bought Jordan some toys to play with in the bath, he loves playing in the bath.

“The twins were so lovely, they had just started school, it was an exciting time for them and Reece was grown up, just a normal lad, he used to play football.

“My daughter is going to have to bury four of her children, it is not right, she is a loving mother, they are all a loving family.”

Mr Smith said the house was one of two Michelle’s mother inherited and had not been lived in for 20 years. The family moved into the property last year after it had been renovated.

Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service Group Manager Phil Cox said: “When we arrived it was quite a chaotic scene, with people on the high street who were very distressed.

“We committed six fire-fighters inside the building.

“The casualties were not breathing when they came out of the building so officers, along with colleagues from Lancashire Police, they carried out resuscitation outside. Later they were transferred to hospital where they sadly died.

“All I can say is the emergency services tried valiantly to bring about a better ending.”

Neighbours described “chaotic scenes” as the fire broke out.

Residents watched as Ms Smith was led from the house in tears after receiving the news four of her nine children had perished in a smoke logged bedroom.

Alan Newsham, of Lytham Road, said: “When I arrived there were four or five people outside and we could hear people screaming.

“The house looked strange though, I was expecting huge flames but there was nothing, the building just looked really dark.

“I could see people on the ground and officers were resuscitating somebody in the drive, it is dreadful, I can’t believe what has happened.”

Police today confirmed a number of people had been in attendance at the house when the fire broke out and said a joint investigation with the fire service into the cause of the blaze was ongoing.

They said it was not believed to be suspicious.

Det Supt Andy Murphy, of Lancashire Police’s major investigation team, added: “It’s a complicated case, four people have lost their lives, three of them under five years of age and we have had to talk to a number of people in the property that night.

“It has really got to be done painstakingly well, we have to provide justice for the four people who sadly died.” “If anyone else has any information that they believe could assist the investigation, I would ask them to call us.”

If anyone has information they are asked to contact Blackpool Police.