Family sorrow over four fire deaths

Mourners lay flowers at the scene of a house fire on Williamthorpe Road in North Wingfield, Chesterfield, where four people, including two children, were killed.

Police at the scene of a house fire in North Wingfield, Chesterfield, where four people, including two children, were killed.

Mourners lay flowers at the scene of a house fire on Williamthorpe Road in North Wingfield, Chesterfield, where four people, including two children, were killed.

Police at the scene of a house fire in North Wingfield, Chesterfield, where four people, including two children, were killed.

First published in National News © by

The grandmother of two young boys killed in a house fire has spoken of her devastation at their deaths.

Jordan Green, 12, and his nine-year-old brother Tyler Green were killed along with their mother Josie Leighton, 32, and her friend Claire James, 27, following the blaze at a house in Williamthorpe Road, North Wingfield, near Chesterfield, yesterday.

In a statement, Ms Leighton's mother Lynn Leighton said: "Josie was a lovely, loving daughter who had lots of friends.

"Tyler was always happy. He loved life, he loved school and was always full of beans.

"Jordan was a real character. He loved his family, specially his grandma and always had lots of friends.

"They will all be greatly missed.

"We are devastated by what has happened and we ask for privacy at this time to allow the whole family to grieve."

A seven-year-old girl taken to hospital with minor smoke inhalation after escaping to the back garden of the house during the blaze has since been discharged.

Derbyshire Police and the fire service are continuing to investigate the cause of the fire.

Today, as a policeman stood guard at the scene, a steady stream of tearful mourners came to lay flowers and pay their respects.

Ian and Emma Smith said their immediate thoughts were with the little girl, who has been named locally as Tia.

Speaking through tears, Mrs Smith said: "I just hope that little girl is all right - she's lost her mother just before Christmas.

"We're trying to run around collecting clothes, toys and whatever we can to donate to her family so she's got something.

"We'd do anything to help that child.

"She will have everything she wants, even if my kids have to go without their Christmas presents."

She said a collection campaign had also started on social media for the bereaved youngster.

Mrs Smith added: "I have eight kids myself, and just to go and see that house after what has happened, it is just the most awful, terrible thing imaginable.

"I cannot understand the pain their families must be in."

Meanwhile, Derbyshire Police force said it was continuing to investigate the cause of the blaze at the terrace house, alongside Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Officers have refused to speculate on the cause of the blaze despite reports suggesting a portable heater could have been responsible.

The results of post-mortem examinations are also expected later, a police spokesman said.

The fire brigade were on the scene within eight minutes after a neighbour raised the alarm at 4.58am.

Firefighters found the young girl in the back garden and got her to safety, then fought "arduous conditions" inside in an attempt to rescue the other occupants.

Ms James and Ms Leighton, named yesterday by police, were pronounced dead at the scene while young Tyler and his brother Jordan were pronounced dead later at Chesterfield and District Royal Hospital.

The house's exterior bears few signs of the deadly blaze, with a pair of child's shoes discarded in the front porch and broken glass littering the garden.

Fire safety officers have been carrying out community checks in the area, while specialist police family liaison officers continued to support bereaved loved ones.

Speaking at the scene, Chief Inspector Rick Gooch, of Derbyshire Police, said: "It is a tragic event.

"The impact on the community is obviously recognised and together we are working through that with the family."

Neighbours said the human toll of the fire had left people shocked and upset.

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