A mother has been left "inconsolable" over the death of her nine-year-old son after a fire at their home early on Tuesday.
Sheree McGill, 34, escaped from the blaze but was held back by neighbours when she tried tried to get back into the house to rescue Evan and her other children.
Her two younger daughters Yasmin, four, and Nya, three, were rescued by firefighters and taken to hospital where they are said to be in a stable condition.
Fire crews were called to the terraced property in Altonhill Avenue, Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, at around 3.20am.
They rescued the three children on the upper floor after fighting through "intense heat and thick acrid smoke" to reach them.
The youngsters were taken to Crosshouse Hospital in Kilmarnock where the boy, named by family members as Evan Mohammed, died.
His mother and the rest of the family were being comforted at their grandmother's house nearby.
Ms McGill's sister, 31-year-old Lyndsay McGill, said Evan's older sister Talia, 15, had managed to escape from the burning building by putting a blanket over her head.
Lyndsay McGill said the whole family were in "utter shock".
She said: "We just can't believe it. It's not sank in. I've got children around the same age and they're all good friends.
"My sister is inconsolable. She doesn't know what to do with herself.
"We think the fire started in Evan's room. We think it was an electrical fault. He had a fibre-optic Christmas tree in there.
"My sister's bedroom is downstairs so she got out quickly. Talia was so smart, she put a blanket over her head to escape.
"Sheree tried to get back in when she realised her kids were still in there but some of the neighbours held her back.
"Thank god the two wee girls are okay. We're still just in utter shock about it all."
Another sibling, five-year-old Zac, was staying at his grandmother's so was not in the house at the time.
It is understood the children's father Saleem Mohammed no longer lives in the family home.
Family friends were arriving at the children's grandmother's house in tears.
Local shopkeeper Mohammed Anwar said Evan was in his newsagents yesterday. He described him as a "lovely" little boy and said he was always "full of life".
Mr Anwar, 46, said: "It's tragic. The whole family come in here every day and I just can't believe what has happened.
"They're always so friendly and nice and the kids are all lovely.
"The little boy was so cute, he had little dimples on his cheeks.
All of the windows were covered in black soot and one of the windows at the back of the house, which is believed to have four bedrooms, appeared to have melted.
Strathclyde Fire and Rescue's specialist fire investigation team will carry out a joint inquiry with Strathclyde Police to determine the cause of the fire.
Assistant chief officer Robert Scott, from Strathclyde Fire and Rescue Service, said it "was a very well developed fire that caused so much damage that plaster work had fallen from the walls and the intensity of the heat must have been extremely severe."
Wilson Brown, Strathclyde Police area commander for East Ayrshire, said: "The investigation is at a very early stage and we will be working very closely with our colleagues at the fire and rescue service.
"We will be carrying out a detailed examination of the house.
"The fire service were faced with a horrendous situation this morning."
Police said that investigations were at an early stage but that the blaze is not being treated as suspicious.
Suggested For You
Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day. Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements. Learn more