Fire heroes tell of rescue

The funeral of Freckleton fire victims Holly, Ella, Jordan and Reece Smith took place today at St. John's Church in Lytham. One of the coffins enters the church.  PIC BY ROB LOCK 16-2-2012
The funeral of Freckleton fire victims Holly, Ella, Jordan and Reece Smith took place today at St. John's Church in Lytham. One of the coffins enters the church. PIC BY ROB LOCK 16-2-2012

A firefighter has described how he searched a bedroom on his hands and knees at a house in Freckleton where four members of the same family died.

David Dugdale was one of two firefighters based at Wesham, who searched the upstairs bedroom where twins Holly and Ella Smith, four and baby Jordan slept.

He told Preston Crown Court he and his colleague Dave Cross entered the bedroom using breathing apparatus and searched the room on their hands and knees as the smoke was so thick they were unable to see more than a hand in front of their faces.

The officers found the children, who were suffering the effects of smoke inhalation, and were taken house to paramedics waiting outside on January 7 last year.

Reece, 19, who was found in the other upstairs bedroom, was also taken to paramedics.

Mr Dugdale said once they were sure there were no more casualties in the building he continued searching the smoke filled room.

He said: “I came to a wardrobe. I could make out it was a wardrobe by feeling it.

“Checking inside I could feel it was hot so that is where I thought the fire was.”

The children were transferred to Royal Preston Hospital where their mum, Michelle Smith, was given the news her children had died.

Reece was pronounced dead at the scene.

Dyson Allen, 19, of no fixed address is accused of starting the fatal fire.

He denies four counts of murder and four counts of manslaughter.