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House fire that killed mother and children caused by halogen heater

The blaze broke out at their home in Bolton, Greater Manchester, on Saturday morning.

A blaze that killed a mother and her three children is believed to have been caused accidentally by a halogen heater, fire chiefs have confirmed.

Aneesa Umerji, 40, her sons Hammad, 12, and Yusuf, 10, and five-year-old daughter Khadija died in the fire at their home in Rosamond Street, Bolton, Greater Manchester, on Saturday morning.

The father, named locally as Zubair Umerji, was taken to hospital after he jumped from a first-floor window and then attempted to smash his way back into the house to rescue his family.

The fire started in the living room at the front of the house, said Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS).

Assistant County Fire Officer Tony Hunter said: “When anyone loses their life in a fire, it is devastating, but even more so when it involves young lives.

“Our deepest condolences go to the family, friends and the local community following this tragic incident. We are especially thinking of the father of the children who has lost his family in such terrible circumstances.

“This was a tragic accident and, over the coming days and weeks, we will be working hard to spread our safety messages and offer reassurance and advice to residents to try and make sure that this never happens again.”

Firefighters and community safety teams have visited more than 200 homes in the area since the tragedy and smoke alarms have been fitted at a number of properties.

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