Brother tells of tragic family rescue efforts

The bungalow on Lytham Road, Freckleton, where four siblings died in a house fire.
The bungalow on Lytham Road, Freckleton, where four siblings died in a house fire.
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The tearful brother of four siblings killed in a house fire in Freckleton has told a court how he tried to rescue his family.

Andrew Smith, 17, told Preston Crown Court: “I felt like there was nothing left in me.”

The teenager had left the house at the time the fire broke out in Lytham Road on January 7, returning to discover the bungalow was alight.

Dyson Allen, 19, denies four charges of murder and four of manslaughter after Reece Smith, 19, twins Holly and Ella, four and Jordan, two, died from the effects of smoke inhalation.

Andrew Smith said he returned to the house to see Allen standing by the gate, crying.

He rushed into the property and pulled another friend from the stairs, taking her outside.

He told the court: “She told me my little sisters were inside.

“I ran back upstairs. I got pretty much to the top. I turned towards my sisters’ room.

“I went to grab the door handle and it was hot so I kind of flexed away.

“I took some smoke in. I went back and grabbed the two sides of the door and tried to kick down the door.

“As soon as I kicked I dropped down. I felt like I had nothing left in me.”

Andrew was taken to a neighbour’s house where he met up with Allen, who he had known since primary school.

He said: “Dyson was muttering something.

“It was something about a candle. When he came in he was just crying. He was just sat next to me saying ‘I can’t believe it’.”

Andrew told the court he had never seen any candles or lighters in the children’s room and would not expect to, although there were candles in the downstairs rooms of the house.

He said he had a candle in his room which he used when the electrics tripped out, which was a fairly common occurrence.

When Andrew returned to the house he found the children’s bedroom door was closed, but he told the court it was always left open to allow extra light from the landing into the room they shared.

Despite his best efforts, he was unable to open the door.


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