Mum prepares to say final farewell to tragic Barnsley blaze brothers

Jack and Paul Sykes with their mum Claire
Jack and Paul Sykes with their mum Claire
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The heartbroken mum of two brothers killed by a horror blaze is preparing to say her final farewell to her beloved boys.

Claire Sykes, who said her ‘heart is broken in two’ following the deaths of her sons Jack, 12 and Paul, nine, has asked everyone attending their joint funeral to wear colourful clothes.

Jack and Paul Sykes with their mum Claire

Jack and Paul Sykes with their mum Claire

The funeral is to be held at St John’s Church, Penistone, on Friday, November 14.

Claire’s boys died after a blaze at their 44-year-old dad Darren’s house on Tennyson Close, Penistone, during a custody visit.

She said her estranged husband lured the boys into the attic to play with a new train set and started the fire.

A joint police and fire service investigation established that there were a number of fires in the property and an accelerant had been used.

South Yorkshire Police have revealed they are not looking for anyone in connection with starting the blaze.

Heartbroken Claire, who has set up a Facebook page about her boys, revealed that the last words her boys said to her were ‘infinity and beyond’ after she told them she loved them as they walked to school.

“Give your sleeping beauties an extra kiss and hug in the morning and tell them that you love them I did that every day and they used to call over their shoulder ‘infinity and beyond’ as they disappeared from view and they were the last words both of them ever said to me,” said Claire.

She said she is comforted that her boys are still ‘together’ and she said she is overwhelmed at the support she has received since their deaths.

Claire described her sons as ‘beautiful boys’.

She added: “Enjoy every minute you spend with your children. All children are precious and the fact that you are all taking time to remember and reflect on Jack and Paul is simply humbling and comforting too.

“I don’t know how I will carry on without my boys, my heart is broken in two but knowing that so many people are thinking of them makes me proud to have been their mum. Thank you to each and every one of you.”

Paul and his dad, Darren, perished in the blaze but Jack initially survived and underwent emergency surgery in hospital in Manchester, where he clung to life for five days while his devoted mum kept a bedside vigil.

Jack, who was a pupil at Penistone Grammar School, suffered 56 per cent burns.

An inquest into the deaths will be held.