Neighbours devastated at death of young boy

NEIGHBOURS have been left shocked after the cheery little boy who rode a scooter down their terraced street tragically died after a house fire.

Mums who saw the seven-year-old playing a few doors down in Edinburgh Road, Kettering, just days ago have been left devastated after he died following the fire yesterday morning.

Mum-of-two Teresa Nichol, 23, said: “Even thinking about it is making me teary. They haven’t even got anything to remember him by. All they will have is memories. My heart goes out to them.

“Instances like this bring everyone together in a weird way. I hope that they know people are thinking about them.”

The boy’s two-year-old brother, who would play with him in the street, escaped the fire with their parents and another adult who lived there, and were treated for smoke inhalation at Kettering General Hospital.

Teresa said: “You always saw them in the street playing. They were always on their scooters outside the house playing.

“They were always cheery chaps.

“If that was my little boy I really wouldn’t know how I’d carry on.”

Firefighters believe the boy, who was asleep upstairs as the fire broke out on the ground floor, was overcome by the thick smoke that filled the whole street when fire crews arrived at about 7.20am.

Brave firefighters pulled him from the smoke-logged house as flames billowed out of the ground floor window and he was treated for smoke inhalation at the scene.

Two paramedics and a doctor who had landed in an air ambulance nearby battled to save the boy as he was taken to hospital by ambulance, but he died there yesterday afternoon.

Neighbour Tracy Lloyd, 36, who saw the boy being carried out, said: “It’s devastating. It’s going to be on my mind for ages.

“I saw the flames billowing out of the house this morning. It was a bad one.

“It will be devastating for the family. You can’t replace a child.”

The road was closed yesterday as police and fire officers investigated the blaze.

Black smoke marks above the charred window frames showed the ferocity of the fire.

A police spokesman said: “Detectives are keeping an open mind as to the cause of the fire, pending further investigation, but there is nothing to suggest at present that the cause is suspicious.”

Two fire engines and at least a dozen firefighters attended the scene after neighbours called 999.

Kettering Fire Station manager Warren Ellison said: “I want to thank the crews from my station and the other crews who were exceptionally professional in the face of a very serious fire.

“Many of my crews have children of their own and it’s a distressing incident for everyone involved.

“They did everything they could to get the boy out to safety.”

Two volunteers from the fire and emergency support service also attended with a specially-adapted British Red Cross vehicle all morning to offer emotional support and practical help.