Tributes paid to Sedgley's 'Scottish queen' as firefighters praise house fire heroes

Tributes have been paid to a popular woman killed when a fire ripped through her home - as firefighters praised brave residents for trying to help rescue her.

Tributes left at the scene of the house fire in Beacon Lane, Sedgley
Tributes left at the scene of the house fire in Beacon Lane, Sedgley

Flowers are building up outside the home of "Sedgley's Scottish queen," named locally as Michelle, who was killed in the fire on Saturday afternoon.

Michelle, 43, was one of three people caught in the fire which started at around 2.30pm West Midlands Police has now confirmed is not being treated as suspicious.

A 16-year-old girl was badly burned but survived along with a 43-year-old man who was also inside the house.

The end-terrace house, on Beacon Lane, has been boarded up now the investigation is complete, while the brickwork has been stained black following the blaze.

The house has now been boarded up
The blaze is not being treated as suspicious

On Monday morning, floral tributes were building up outside the property, with heartfelt messages left from neighbours and friends.

Among those down to lay down flowers was Claire Morris, aged 47 and from Sedgley, who said: "She was loved and a character. My mom and dad knew her more, she was a proper character and never passed you by.

"You could be on the other side of the road and she would shout over. It is a really shame what has happened, I am just so sorry."

Watch: Firefighter says severity of blaze was 10 out of 10

Neighbour Sylvia Bagley, 80, said Michelle was well known in Sedgley, adding: "She was loved and will sadly be missed."

Alex Moore, 25, also a neighbour, added: "She had time for everyone on the street and got on with everyone. She will be missed by everyone in the community."

In the wake of the tragic death, the Sedgley community has rallied together to raise funds and gather clothes and practical items to help the family.

Flowers have been left outside the house

One woman who laid flowers, but wished to remain anonymous, said: "She was very quirky and chatty. I know she helped a lot of people around here as well.

"She was lovely and always stopped for a chat.

"It is tragic what happened, but it is really nice to know how the community has come together. It shows how well loved she was."

Touching messages were left along with array of flowers outside the house.

One note read: "Shell and Rosie, inseparable always. All our love."

Another said: "Michelle, miss you so much."

The blaze is not being treated as suspicious

A different message said: "Fly high Michelle, Sedgley's Scottish queen. We will miss you, love you, thinking of all the family at this time.

"Will always remember you Michelle and Rosie, god bless you both."

The man and the girl involved in the fire both managed to get out before emergency services arrived but, despite the efforts of locals who brought ladders and braved smoke to try and get Michelle out, she was trapped in the flames and pronounced dead at the scene.

Praising the efforts of residents, Neil Griffiths, from West Midlands Fire Service, told the BBC: "What showed yesterday was the passion of the local community, the care that they showed. You've got local residents putting ladders up to try and rescue the people. That describes how severe the incident was.

"On a scale of one to 10 this is a 10 in severity for us, you can see the windows were blown out, the windows were all melted, pretty much everything inside is destroyed."

A fundraiser for the family involved has already raised more than £6,000 from more than 400 donors.

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