Fire Which Killed Three Children 'Started By Mobile Phone Charger'

24/03/2011 17:46 | Updated 22 May 2015

Mobile phone charger caused house fireA house fire in which three young children died may have been caused by a mobile phone charger, it has emerged.

Nine-year-old William Hudson, his five-year-old brother Anthony and sister Maddie, three, died when their three-storey terraced home caught fire.

Firemen found them in the arms of their mother Samatha Hudson, 27.

The children died shortly afterwards.

Miss Hudson survived but it is feared she may have suffered permanent brain damage from the amount of smoke she inhaled.

She is still in hospital, where she is breathing but is largely unresponsive. She is unaware that her children died.

Speaking in the Daily Mail, her brother Peter, 30, said yesterday that the family had been told a Sony Ericsson charger was the likely cause of the fire.

'The focus of the investigation has been on something that was plugged in,' he said.

'It looks like it could have been a phone charger.'

The fire broke out in the living room of the home in Bridlington, East Yorkshire, on November 11.

It quickly spread through the ground floor, leaving Miss Hudson and Maddie trapped on the first floor and William and Anthony asleep on the second floor.

When she heard the smoke alarm, Miss Hudson grabbed Maddie from her bedroom and rushed to the boys' bedroom.

Neighbours heard the youngsters screaming and, minutes later, firemen were able to get inside and carry out the family before the flames reached them.

But the brothers and their sister had been overcome by smoke and, according to neighbours, looked like 'little rag dolls'. They were pronounced dead in hospital.

Mr Hudson said: 'I have been in the house myself and seen the heat damage and I don't know how she managed to get up there.

'She was found with all the kids cuddled round her. They were all unconscious but all together.

'She is like a stroke victim,' said Mr Hudson.

'She can't move her arms or legs or talk or understand anything.

'Sometimes, she will make eye contact with us or squeeze our hands, but that's it.

'My mum is still crying every time it is mentioned. My dad is not normally an emotional person, but I have seen him cry more in the last month than I ever have in my life.'

Jo Bullock, of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, urged people to switch off appliances such as phone chargers when not in use.

She said: 'Thankfully, incidents like this are quite rare, but people need to be aware that electrical items do start fires.

'This is a sad case that highlights the need to be careful about what you leave on overnight. People should also ensure they do not overload sockets and check their smoke detectors are working.'

Last night Humberside Fire And Rescue Service confirmed that the blaze had begun in the living room but would not confirm how it started. Any suspicious circumstances have been ruled out.

A spokesman said: 'The investigation into the cause of the fire is still ongoing and we anticipate it will be completed early in the new year.'

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