Grief for tragic victims of blaze

Michelle Smith - mum of four children killed in Freckleton house fire
Michelle Smith - mum of four children killed in Freckleton house fire
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THE family of four youngsters killed in a tragic house blaze are today trying to come to terms with their loss.

Distraught mum Michelle Smith, 36, lost four of her nine children in Saturday’s blaze.

Her father Keith Smith said he has hardly slept since hearing the news and returned to his daughter’s Freckleton home in the early hours of Sunday morning.

He said: “I have been to see Michelle’s mother but have not yet spoken to Michelle, I hope she is OK.

“I came back to the house at 5am this morning, I can’t really take in what has happened, the house looks normal from the outside.”

Mr Smith, who lives in Lightburne Avenue, St Annes, also praised Reece’s heroics.

It is believed the teenager went back into the bungalow in a bid to save his siblings.

He added: “He is a hero, if he did go back into the building, he was very courageous – I don’t know how I would react in that situation, I hope I would do the same.”

Mr Smith said he was thinking of the whole family, including his other grandchildren, Kyle, Andy, Chloe, Bethany and Jodie.

Joe Cardle, a family friend and godfather to Ms Smith’s second oldest son, Andrew, said the family were devastated.

He said: “They are all just destroyed by what has happened.

“I have seen Christine, the children’s grandmother, a few times, she is completely devastated

“Losing one member of your family is bad enough but to lose four, it’s incomprehensible.

“I saw Michelle briefly, all she could do was cry, the scale of this tragedy is just unbelievable for her to come to terms with.

“All we can do is be there for them all.”

Mr Cardle, father of local boxing star, Scott Cardle, who has himself paid tribute to the Smith children, told of his heartbreak.

He said: “We are all absolutely devastated by what has happened, I can’t take it in.

“I feel like it’s a bad dream and I’m going to wake up.

“I have lived next door to Christine for 27 years and watched all the children grow up.

“I used to coach Reece at football and my wife was very close to those lovely little girls.

“The family are very well known in Lytham.

“It is an absolute tragedy for the whole community.”