A nurse has recalled how everyone involved in looking after three children who were brought into hospital following a fire at their home in Freckleton was in shock at what was unfolding before them.
Paramedics, doctors and nurses battled to revive four-year-old twins Ella and Holly Smith and their baby brother Jordan, two, but the children were pronounced dead at Royal Preston Hospital, Preston Crown Court was told.
Their older brother Reece, 19, was pronounced dead at the scene of the fatal blaze in Lytham Road on January 7 last year, after going back into the house to try to save his siblings.
As the children’s mother, Michelle Smith, was led to the family room, she asked nurse Jennifer Bowers: “I’ve already lost one child. Tell me these are OK.”
Dr Jacqueline Hanson, consultant in emergency medicine at RPH, broke the tragic news to Miss Smith.
She told the court: “Understandably she didn’t look as if she was taking in the information. She seemed to be very numb.
“I felt it was a perfectly normal reaction for someone who was in shock.”
Miss Smith was given the opportunity to see the children but told doctors she would prefer to remember them as they were.
However, Chloe Marshall, a family friend who had accompanied Miss Smith to the hospital, asked to sit with the youngsters who were later formally identified by their grandmother, Christine Smith.
Dyson Allen, 19, of no fixed address, is accused of starting the fatal fire.
He denies four counts of murder and four counts of manslaughter
The court heard he told police he had last smoked cannabis the night before the fire but expert witnesses said the levels of THC – the drug’s active ingredient – found in his blood were not consistent with that account.
Prof Ian Hindmarch, professor of human psychopharmacology, said: “There is obvious use of cannabis within a 10 hour period (of the test) although how that would have affected the individual, I’m afraid I’m unable to say.”