Desperate battle to save girl, 10, from house inferno which also killed her dad

Neighbours have spoken about the tragic fight to try and save a 10-year-old girl and her dad who died in a house fire.

The father, named locally as Garry Bolton, was pronounced dead at the scene in east Hull this morning while his daughter, named locally as Paige, sadly died later in hospital.

A neighbour who woke up to "banging and shouting" claimed they saw the little girl lying on a sheet as CPR was performed on her, adding "I kept thinking please God let that poor little girl live."

Another, who was one of the first on the scene to try to rescue the pair, said he attempted to break the door down when he saw smoke coming from the house.

Carl Goodfellow, 60, said he banged on the door to try and get their attention but "it was to no avail".

Next door neighbours reportedly climbed over a six foot fence to try to alert the man and his daughter to the fire.

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Heartbroken neighbours have told of their shock at the death of the "devoted single father" and his daughter, whose age was initially reported as eight.

A friend, who was laying flowers at the scene, revealed that the tragic youngster was a twin born prematurely. Her twin brother died due to complications at birth, but the girl pulled through, he told.

The friend, who said his dad used to work with Garry, said: "Paige was a twin and they lost the other twin at birth. They were born prematurely."

A nearby resident, who did not want to be named, said: "It just makes it a double tragedy.

"Everybody on this street knows each other, at least to speak to.

"His wife was so overjoyed they were expecting babies and it really affected her when she lost her son.

"They felt really lucky that the daughter had pulled through, but to lose her in these circumstances just makes it doubly heartbreaking.

"I was woken up this morning lots of banging and shouting.

"I saw them pull the little girl out and lay her on a green sheet trying to do CPR.

"I kept thinking please god let that poor little girl live.

"I'm just numb, I'm in a real state of shock."


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The fire is believed to have been started in a bedroom and neighbours said they saw smoke coming from a top floor window.

Carl Goodfellow, one of the first on the scene, said: "It's just a tragic event.

"He was devoted to his daughter, we'd see him taking her to school every day and we'd say hello but that was it really.

"I heard shouting this morning and saw smoke coming from the upstairs window.

"I tried to break the door down but it was too strong.

"I was banging on the door and shouting to get their attention, but it was to no avail sadly.

"My heart just goes out to the immediate family who have to deal with this tragic incident.

"The whole street is in shock, it's a quiet, close-knit community and you just don't expect something like this to happen."

One neighbour, who did not want to be named, said the man who died in the fire was a "devoted single father" who had quit work to be a full-time dad after his marriage broke up.

He said: "I heard shouting and banging this morning so went to have a look.

"I climbed over the fence that separates our gardens and tried banging on the door as loud as I could.

"The Fire Brigade turned up within minutes and took over, but they couldn't get them out in time sadly.

"He kept himself to himself, he was never any trouble.

"He gave up work to take care of her full-time. He was a hard-working single dad."

A statement earlier today by Humberside Police said: "Emergency services are currently at the scene of a fire at a house on Wensley Avenue in Hull.

"Humberside Fire and Rescue, ambulance and police were called at 7.50am today to reports of a fire at a house. Emergency services worked to extinguish the fire and get the occupants out of the building.

"Tragically two people have died in the fire. A man was pronounced dead at the scene and an ten year-old girl (not eight as previously stated), who had been taken to hospital, has sadly died.

"There will be a scene guard in place today as emergency services continue to work together to establish the cause of the fire.

"If anyone is able to help with our investigations please call us on 101 quoting log 127 25 January 2020."

A statement by Humberside Fire and Rescue said: "Humberside Fire and Rescue Service were called to a house fire in Hull this morning where sadly two people lost their lives.

"A 999 call was received from a neighbour at 07.49 and three engines were sent to the house in Wensley Avenue off Cottingham Road. On arrival breathing apparatus crews entered the building and located the male adult and young girl.

"The adult male was pronounced dead at the scene and the ten year old girl was passed into the care of paramedics, but died later in hospital.

"A fire investigation has begun to establish the cause and origin of the fire. HFRS officers are working at the scene with colleagues from Humberside Police. Fire investigation dogs have also been at Wensley Avenue to assist FI officers. 

"This has been a tragic incident and thoughts are with all those affected by this morning's events."

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