A dad found dead in house fire tragedy

The scene of the fatal fire at Wagon Road, Greasbrough, Rotherham.
The scene of the fatal fire at Wagon Road, Greasbrough, Rotherham.
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A DAD died and his partner and two children were rescued after a ‘devastating’ blaze broke out a house in South Yorkshire.

Stephen Moore was killed at his home on Wagon Road, Greasbrough, Rotherham, by a blaze which started accidentally at the cooker in the kitchen.

His partner Becky, daughter Mckenzie, aged six, and son Leighton, three, shut themselves in the first-floor bathroom and were found by firefighters who brought them downstairs to safety.

Stephen was discovered in the kitchen and pronounced dead by paramedics at the scene, while the mother and her children were rushed to hospital.

The semi-detached house was taped off by police while fire investigators examined the scene and took photos. The couple’s red Vauxhall Astra car was still on the driveway behind the cordon.

The living room window was blackened with soot and the front door was broken where firefighters had forced their way inside.

Next-door neighbour Carl Featherstone, 43, said he and partner Michelle Baker, 41, and their four-year-old son Lewis had been evacuated from their home in the middle of the night, amid fears flames could spread to their property.

“We heard the fire alarm go off and we came out and were ringing the fire brigade. But no sooner were we ringing it than the fire brigade were coming up the road,” said Carl, a builder.

“It’s very upsetting, we’re both upset. They got the children out and took them to the hospital.”

Carl said Stephen was in his mid 30s and drove a tanker for Rotherham Waste Oils in Kilnhurst.

“He was a good guy,” he said. “He was good with his kids, he was a good father. He worked long hours. The family have been here for around two or three years.”

Becky is believed to have suffered facial burns and was taken to Rotherham Hospital, while Leighton and Mckenzie were rushed to Sheffield Children’s Hospital. Their condition is today described as serious but stable.

Group manager Mick Mason, leading the investigation into the fatal blaze for South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue, said the two crews from Rotherham and Dearne found a ‘scene of devastation’ at the house after they were called out at 12.45am on Saturday.

“It was quite intense heat in there and the kitchen is totally gutted,” he said. “There is quite severe smoke damage to the rest of the premises. The upstairs has been affected through heavy smoke logging.”

He said a call was made from the bathroom to the ambulance service by Becky, who had shut herself in with the children because of ‘survival instincts’.

“People call it panic but it’s not, it’s the instinct to survive. They probably came to the head of the stairs as it was quite intense heat coming up,” he said, adding firefighters got to the scene ‘just in time’ to save the mother and her children.

“They were conscious when crews got there but did get to a state of semi-consciousness. They were taken out very quickly.”

He confirmed a working smoke alarm was fitted in the property at the top of the stairs.

n FIREFIGHTERS were called to a kitchen blaze which left a house badly smoke-damaged on Houldsworth Drive, Chesterfield, yesterday at around 7.20am.

The fire broke out on the ground floor of the semi-detached property. Crews from Chesterfield and Staveley found the kitchen well alight, and needed breathing apparatus and a ventilation fan to help extinguish the flames.

A fire also broke out in a kitchen at a house on Church Street, Eckington. Crews from Staveley and Mosborough were called just after 10.45pm on Friday, but the fire was out when they arrived. Firefighters ventilated the property.