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Bridlington house blaze child deaths accidental

  • 3-31-2011

_50006294_william,ajandmaddie,clarenceavenuefire,bridlington.jpgA discarded cigarette was the likely cause of a house fire that killed three children, an inquest heard.

Maddie Hudson, three, William Beale, nine, and Anthony Fothergill, five, died in Bridlington fire on 11 November.

Their mother, Samantha Hudson, survived but suffered brain damage leaving her with "no quality of life".

Hull and East Riding of Yorkshire Coroner Geoff Saul recorded that all three children died accidentally.

Samantha was last seen by her brother Mark, who had been babysitting for her, and after she returned home at about 2300 GMT he left her sat on the floor smoking and drinking, the court heard.

Windows locked

Humberside Fire and Rescue Service said it was in the spot that the fire started, and they believe it was caused by a cigarette that had accidentally fallen onto a pile of children's clothes.

Police had said there was nothing to indicate the fire was started deliberately.

The court heard that when she heard the smoke alarm, Samantha took all the children as far away from the flames as possible.

_50006292_samandmaddiehudson.jpgBut that was to a second-floor bedroom where all the windows were locked and there was no key, so the group were trapped.

Earlier, paramedic Simon Leeson told the court that he was the first on the scene and decided to work on the 27-year-old mother as she was showing signs of life.

Susan Hudson asked him: "How long was she starved of oxygen?

"She will never be Samantha again. It just seems to me Samantha should never have been brought back."

'Incredibly brave'

The children's 27-year-old mother spent months in hospital before being moved to a rehabilitation centre near Goole, where she continues to receive treatment.

She was unable to attend the funeral of her children.

Coroner Geoffrey Saul recorded a verdict of accidental death for all three children.

A Humberside fire service spokesman said: "This was a tragic event with the most dreadful consequences.

"Samantha Hudson was incredibly brave when she put her own life in danger to try to save her children in what must have been a terrifying situation."

The service said careless disposal of cigarettes is the single biggest cause of house fires.

The spokesman added: "In 2010 there were ten deaths in house fires in the Humberside area, all of which were caused by carelessly discarded smoking materials."

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