BREAKING NEWS: “Everyone just collapsed in tears” - Neighbours tell of shock of fire that killed three children

RESIDENTS in the Bridlington street where three children died following a house fire have spoken of the devasting scenes, and the grief that followed.

Monday, 15th November 2010, 8:42 am

Just before midnight on Thursday firefighters attended Clarence Avenue in the town to tackle a fire englufing a three-storey property.

According to neighbours, the house was occupied by a mother called Sam, and her three children, belived to be a three-year-old girl called Maddie, and two boys AJ, aged five, and William, aged nine.

It is believed they only moved into the property two months ago.

The mother is still in Scarborough Hospital in a critical condition.

A second adult was also taken to Scarborough Hospital via ambulance, but no other information is known.

Stephen Elston, 31, of Clarence Avenue, was the first neighbour out on the street to raise the alarm, and his girlfield, Keira Dixon, called the emergency services.

He said: “I looked out of my window before heading to bed, and thought their was a lot of sea-fret.

“But it soon became clear it was smoke, and a lot of it.

“I quickly got dressed and went out to have a look. When I got closer to the house I saw the flames, and there was a woman screaming for help outside.

“I was scared, as I knew their would be people inside.

“I called up to Keira to call 999. I tried to see if I could get in the house, but the smoke was too thick and I just felt helpless.”

Scott Dunkley, 34, lives at the Jasmine Guest House on the corner of Clarence Avenue and Richmond Street.

He spoke of his dismay at having walked past the house just moments earlier.

“I must have walked the dog past the house at 11.30pm,” he said.

“I didn’t notice anything, but you think back now and wonder if you could have done any more. It’s just what goes through your head.

“But it all happened so quickly. I was settling down for the night and thought I heard a car revving loudly outside.

“I looked out to see blue lights and firemen everywhere. I went out to see what I could do, but by then they were on top of it.

“I reckon it took them 20-minutes to control the fire, then they went into the building.”

It was at this point that fire fighters began to bring out the occupants, and when the neighbours realised the seriousness of the incident.

Mr Elston said: “When they started bringing out the children on the stretchers and tried to revive them it was the must horrible thing I have ever seen.

“I guess they had been inside with the smoke too long, and when the neighbours realised the children were dead everyone just collapsed in tears.

“The police officers and fire fighters, who were brilliant in everything they did, were also sobbing their eyes out.

“It was such a terrible sight, and I won’t forget it. It was awful.”

A press conference has been called at the scene at noon today.