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Father smashed windows in desperate bid to save family in Bolton fire tragedy

One of the children was pronounced dead at the scene and the woman and two children died later in hospital.

A father used his bare hands to smash through a window in a bid to rescue his three children and their mother from a house fire that claimed their lives, a senior firefighter has said.

Fire crews found the man, named locally as Zubair, trying to get into the small terraced house in Rosamond Street, in Bolton, at around 9am on Saturday.

He had managed to escape the blaze through a first floor window but his two boys and a girl, all under the age of 13, and the woman were still inside, Tony Hunter said.

Mr Hunter, assistant county officer with Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS), said the man was “distraught”.

“We found a man who had jumped from the first floor window, straight through the window on to concrete,” he told the Press Association.

“He got up and then was smashing his hands through the glass of the ground floor window. He was breaking the windows with his hands. He was covered in cuts.

“He was absolutely distraught, screaming (that) his wife and children were in there.”

Mr Hunter said it took four firefighters and specialist equipment to break the front door down. When crews got inside they found devastation.

He said: “It was a very intense fire – the plaster had come off the walls. That was on the ground floor so you can imagine what it was like on the first floor.

“They made their way up in no visibility whatsoever, fighting the fire as they were going up the stairs and located the three children and mother and then had to carry them down.

“I spoke to crews when I got there – they were very emotional about it.”

Paramedics and fire crews gave the victims CPR but one of the children was pronounced dead at the scene and the woman and two other children died later in hospital.

The man, who an eyewitness describes as “hammering” on the door of the terraced house, is being treated at a hospital and is in a stable condition.

Mr Hunter said it would be “some time” before the cause of the blaze was known, although Greater Manchester Police said it was not thought to be suspicious.

Detective Chief Inspector Chris Bridge, from GMP’s Bolton borough, appealed for witnesses.

He said: “These are utterly heart-breaking circumstances and our thoughts go out to anyone affected by this tragic incident.

“This appears to be a family home and we have been working to inform loved ones of this awful loss.”

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