Five-year-old dies in house blaze

Alex Clarke, five, has died following a fire at his home in Leeds.
Alex Clarke, five, has died following a fire at his home in Leeds.

A five-year-old boy has died in hospital after suffering serious burns when a fire broke out at his home.

Alex Clarke was trapped in a bedroom at the house in Second Avenue, Rothwell, when firefighters arrived on Sunday night.

Fire crews were called from Rothwell and Hunslet

Fire crews were called from Rothwell and Hunslet

He had been receiving emergency treatment in hospital in Manchester since being rescued from inside.

Crews from Rothwell and Hunslet were on the scene within minutes of a call received just before 8.30pm.

Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus used two hose reels to put out the blaze in the upstairs of the house and rescued Alex.

He was said to be in a serious but stable condition this morning.

In an update just issued, a police spokesman said Alex had since died in hospital. “His mother and brother and sister, who were in the property at time, were unharmed,” he said.

“The family are being supported by specially-trained officers.”

Two members of the public were reported to have tried to get into the house before crews arrived but were fought back by the heat and smoke.

A witness, who was at the scene around 9pm on Sunday, said there was smoke coming out of a bathroom window.

“I saw four fire engines and two or three police cars,” he said.

“There was a guy who was obviously upset and he was being comforted by his mate.”

A West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service spokesman earlier said the two people who tried to enter the house had been checked over at the scene by paramedics.

He said: “Smoke alarms were fitted and working, and our fire investigators are working with the police to ascertain the cause and origin of the fire.” Investigators could be seen going in and out of the house this morning, while a police car was stationed outside. The police spokesman said: “An investigation is ongoing to establish the cause of the fire”