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Children killed in birthday blaze

Police are investigating the cause of a fire that killed four "lovely" siblings following a party to celebrate their mother's birthday.

Reece Smith, 19, four-year-old twins Holly and Ella Smith and Jordan Smith, two, died after a blaze broke out at their converted bungalow in Lytham Road, Freckleton, Lancashire, on Saturday.

The four victims were taken to Preston Royal Infirmary but were all later pronounced dead.

Their mother Michelle Smith, 36, who has five other children, was led out of the house by firefighters and was not thought to be injured.

She returned to the scene accompanied by police officers on Sunday and, according to reports, said: "I have lost the lights of my life... where can I turn?"

Her father Keith Smith, 56, said his daughter is staying with relatives in the area.

Mr Smith, who found out about the blaze on the news, said: "It's very shocking, these are such tragic circumstances. I don't know anything about what happened. I haven't had a chance to speak to Michelle yet. It is just terrible.

"They have lived here for about two-and-a-half years - this was their grandmother's former home. I last saw them all just after Christmas. I can't think of any reason why this has happened. It has just come as a big shock."

Sources said that a birthday party took place at the house and it appeared those who got out safely were downstairs when the fire broke out.

Ms Smith's former partner Colin Ostler, who has three daughters with her, told the Daily Mail that 19-year-old Reece "died a hero" trying to save his siblings. "Michelle is in shock, she's devastated, we all are, but it's not really hit her yet. She's too upset to talk about it, the enormity of what's happened just hasn't sunk in," he added.


From Belfast Telegraph