Tributes pour in to children killed in Salford house fire

(Originally published on Quays News, December 11, 2o17)

Tributes have been paid to a teenager and her younger brother and sister who died in a house fire in Worsley.

Demi Pearson, 14,  is believed to have attended Harrop Fold School in Little Hulton, the setting of the recent Educating Manchester series.

She was one of three children who died, along with her eight-year-old brother Brandon and seven-year-old sister Lacie. Two 16-year-old boys managed to escape from the house before firefighters arrived.

Another sister, three-year-old Lia, and the children’s mother, Michelle, 35, are critically ill in hospital after the “suspicious” house fire.

On social media, tributes have been pouring in for Demi.

On Facebook, Tasha Jayne said: “RIP Demi going to be missed by many you’ll get the send off you deserve such a cruel world we live in. Fly high.”

Ellie Foster said: “Rip Demi, gone far too soon.”

Callum John Wood said: “RIP Demi can’t believe this, you sleep tight angel.”

Nearby resident Jody, 34, who was at the scene this afternoon: “I don’t know the children, but it is really sad news and very upsetting. It’s just shocking. I don’t have any words for it.”

Neighbour Sandra Wilkinson, said she heard screaming at half past four. “It’s horrendous news. I used to talk to the girl that lived there.”

Harrop Fold School in Little Hulton, which Demi attended, said: “We are devastated at the tragic loss of life today in our community. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family involved.”

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service have released a statement:

Area Manager Damian O’Rourke said: “Firefighters received a call to the incident shortly before 5am and three fire engines were sent to the scene, followed shortly by a further fire engine. Firefighters arrived within minutes and were faced with a very serious and well-developed fire involving the ground and first floor.

“Knowing there were people trapped inside, firefighters wearing breathing apparatus immediately went in and quickly rescued five people from the house but sadly three of those people died. 

“Crews extinguished the fire and remained on the scene for a number of hours dampening down and ensuring there were no hotspots. A joint fire and police investigation is ongoing and crews are expected to be on the scene for a number of days assisting with the investigation.

“Our first thoughts are with the family and friends of those involved. Incidents as tragic as this are thankfully rare but these are really heart-breaking circumstances and the crew involved will be receiving personal support from our internal health and wellbeing team.   

Greater Manchester Police have began a murder investigation.

Manchester Fire and Rescue service were called to Jackson Street just before 5am.

Firefighters said that they pulled five people from the mid terraced house and two other people – believed to be teenagers – escaped by themselves.

Four fire crews from Farnworth, Bolton Central and Eccles attended the scene.

Firefighters and Police remain at the address to monitor the house.

Forensic investigators are at the scene however it is unknown as to what is happening inside the house. The front downstairs windows of the fire-damaged house are boarded up while a blackened window frame of the upstairs front bedroom dangled loose.

Transport for Greater Manchester confirmed Worsley Road North has now reopened, but commuters should expect delays if travelling in the area.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact police on 0161 856 8797 alternatively call 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

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