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Community in mourning after mother and son killed in Wolverhampton house fire

By Marion Brennan | Heath Town | News | Published: | Last Updated:

Heartbroken neighbours have been sharing their tributes to the family.

The fire gutted the first-floor of the house in Deans Road, Wolverhampton. Inset: Patryk Samselski took this photo of the fire

Flowers and tributes have been left remembering a mother and son killed when a fire ripped through the first floor of their home in Wolverhampton.

Flames and thick smoke quickly engulfed the semi-detached house in Eastfield where a disabled woman, in her 60s, and her son, believed to be 38, perished yesterday.

The dead woman's husband survived by climbing out of a window on to the roof where neighbours heard his frantic calls for help.

He was treated for smoke inhalation by paramedics.

The fire in Deans Road. Photo: Karolina Domanska

Residents smashed in the front door of the Deans Road property and tried to rescue the family.

They saved the family dog but were overwhelmed by the heat and fumes as they attempted to go upstairs.

Firefighters and police were still at the scene yesterday afternoon, where the local community was in shock after the second major incident in Eastfield this weekend.

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On Friday a six-year-old boy was injured when a shotgun was fired at his family home in Ashbourne Road, around 50 metres away from the scene of the house fire.

Flowers and messages have been left at the front door to the family's home today.

One message pays tribute to ‘a lovely sister and nephew Jag’.

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'Heartbreaking'

A neighbour, a few doors away, said she looked out of a bedroom window just before 3am and saw a man standing on a flat roof at the back of his house, crying out in Punjabi: "My wife, my son, my family, please call the fire brigade."

Investigators inside the house on Sunday afternoon

Jasmine, a 20-year-old nursery nurse, said: "It was heartbreaking. My brother was the first to hear a noise and looked out of his bedroom window.

"You could see the reflection of the fire in the windows of the houses at the back of us.

"All you could see was big orange flames all across the back.

"When we leaned out of the window and we could see the man on top of the roof, or a garage roof, shouting.

"Neighbours ran to the house and broke the door and got the dog out.

"They tried to go upstairs but it was so hot, they weren't able to save anyone.

A man escaped by climbing onto the roof of the house

"Fire engines got here but it was too late, the fire spread too quickly.

"My father, who's a taxi driver, left the house to pick someone up at New Cross Hospital at around 2.15am – 2.30am and everything was normal. But 25 minutes later it was all on fire."

Well-known family

It is understood the son, known as Jag, had been socialising downstairs that evening with one of his brothers, who left the house in a taxi at around 2am.

Friends and neighbours paid tribute to the family, who had three sons and a daughter and are said to have lived in the house for at least 30 years.

The front of the house on Sunday

Residents spoke of seeing the parents regularly out walking with their German Shepherd dog, Zeus.

Family friend Sarj Singh, 40, who went to Deansfield School with Jag and his two brothers, said: "I used to go to their house almost every day from school, I called them Uncle and Auntie, they were a lovely family.

"I moved away for a while with my family but came back recently and they were so happy to see us. We'd see them out walking every day without fail."

Police and firefighters were still at the scene 12 hours later

Resident Margaret Hill was woken by her neighbour's desperate shouts for help and called the emergency services. she said: "I've known them for 20 years. He'd always give a wave when he passed by the house." She added: "I'll never forget those screams."

The dead woman is believed to have suffered a stroke a couple of years ago which restricted her movement but she continued to accompany her husband on his daily outings, walking slowly with the aid of a stick.

Investigation

Police and firefighters are now investigating the cause of the blaze, which is believed to have started upstairs.

A West Midlands Fire Service spokesman said: "The first fire appliance arrived at the incident after three minutes and 38 seconds and was presented with a severe fire on the first floor of the property.

The fire destroyed the first-floor of the house

"Despite the hard work of the firefighters at the scene, it is with great sadness that we have to report that one man and one woman have been pronounced dead at the scene.

"Another man was rescued from the property by the fire service and has received treatment for smoke inhalation by paramedics.

"Whilst it is still too early to determine the cause of the fire, the fire service and police investigators are working together to understand the circumstances of the incident. This investigation is on-going.

"Our thoughts go out to the family and friends of the deceased."

Marion Brennan

By Marion Brennan
@Marion_EStar

News and features reporter, specialising in human interest and local history stories.

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