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Match game could have led to blaze death

PUBLISHED: 19:14 29 May 2003 | UPDATED: 13:56 03 March 2010

PLAYING with matches could have caused the death of a toddler who was killed in a Suffolk house fire.

The two-year-old was today named as Tyrone Reay.

PLAYING with matches could have caused the death of a toddler who was killed in a Suffolk house fire.

The two-year-old was today named as Tyrone Reay. Police said that an inquest will be held in due course.

It also emerged today that the smoke alarm in the house was not working properly.

Deputy chief fire officer Ken Seager from Suffolk Fire said that investigating officers are fairly sure the cause of the fire at The Nordalls, Kessingland was children setting fire to objects in the bedroom.

He also gave a stark warning about smoke alarms, which could have given the family an early warning signal.

He said: "The smoke alarm was also not working properly. Smoke alarms must be tested once a month and one in four house fires we attend have smoke alarms that weren't working.

"Fire is a curiosity - if matches are left where children can get hold of them they have no perception of the danger they can put themselves in.

"Matches or cigarette lighters must be kept away from children or they will try and use them"

Family and neighbours fought in vain to save the two-year-old from the fire after the alarm was raised around 8.30am yesterday.

Smoke was seen billowing from the upstairs windows of the home.

Three fire crews from Lowestoft and one from Wrentham were quickly on the scene and managed to pluck the youngster from his bedroom.

But the boy, whose first name is understood to be Tye, was pronounced dead at the James Paget Hospital in Gorleston despite efforts to save him.

The blaze was under control within 20 minutes and onlookers said the fire crews wearing breathing apparatus had rescued the youngster within seconds of their arrival.

Earlier, neighbours could only watch in horror as Tye's father made frantic efforts to rescue him but was beaten back by the thick black smoke.

Jason Garbutt, who lives next door, said he was having his breakfast when he heard the desperate cries for help.

"I ran outside and there was the lady with her eldest son at the back window.

"She was able to lower the child to me and another neighbour and then we persuaded her to jump from the window," said Mr Garbutt.

The two neighbours managed to break the woman's fall as she jumped.

Meanwhile the father had escaped through the front of the house and was desperately trying to get back in to rescue his youngest son.

It is believed the family had been living at the house for less than a year.

The parents and their eldest child were also taken to the James Paget Hospital. The youngster was detained overnight after suffering smoke inhalation.

As residents were trying to come to terms with the tragedy, flowers were being left on the front lawn.

Waveney District Council officials have boarded up the fire-damaged house and a spokesman said the family will be offered emergency accommodation if they needed it.

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