Little angel, 2, dies in blaze

Libby-Jayne Hambrey, who has tragically died following a house fire in Conisbrough.
Libby-Jayne Hambrey, who has tragically died following a house fire in Conisbrough.
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Anguished investigators were today still examining the tragic scene where ‘little angel’ Libby-Jayne Hornsby was killed by a house fire in South Yorkshire.

The two-year-old died in hospital after a blaze took hold at her home in Don Street, Conisbrough.

Heartbroken friends and neighbours have left bouquets in the street for a ‘lovely little girl’ who was always smiling and waving.

Fire chiefs said the blaze, in an upstairs bedroom, involved bedding - and there was no smoke alarm fitted at the house.

Neighbour Zoe Backhouse, of nearby Dearne Street, said: “It’s so sad. She was such a lovely little girl - a little angel.”

Fire crews from Edlington and Dearne stations were called at 7.45pm on Thursday.

Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus entered the property and located the fire in an upstairs bedroom.

Investigators said they are keeping an open mind as to the cause, but confirmed the fire was confined to the master bedroom on the first floor.

Neighbours said a young teenager was believed to have been babysitting Libby-Jayne while mum Kelly was out.

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service Deputy Chief Fire Officer Mark Shaw confirmed the property did not have a smoke alarm fitted.

“While I am not saying the smoke alarm will necessarily have made a difference, it could have,” he said.

Friends and family said Libby-Jayne lived with her mother and six-year-old brother Dylan, but could not confirm who was in the house at the time.

One neighbour, who did not wish to be named, said she had been walking her dog when she saw emergency services outside the house at 8pm.

“There was a young boy outside screaming, I don’t know what he was saying but he was screaming,” she said.

“I couldn’t see too much smoke but then they opened one of the windows upstairs and all this smoke came out.

“The mum arrived home about 20 minutes after Libby had been taken away in an ambulance, and she was obviously distraught.

“I think the mum knew what had happened before she arrived because she just ran out of the car when she got here.”

Zena Wright, who said she is a good friend of Libby’s mum Kelly, said: “I can’t believe this. Libby used to call me Auntie Zena and her brother did too. Kelly and I have been friends for years.

“I don’t know what happened. If Kelly was out she would have been at band practice, she was in a majorettes band. I’m devastated.”

Yesterday neighbours and friends visited the leafy street to leave floral tributes and cuddly toys.

A spokesman for South Yorkshire Police confirmed: “Inquiries are ongoing to establish the exact circumstances around the fire.”

Deputy Chief Fire Officer Mark Shaw said it was the second blaze in South Yorkshire this week in which firefighters had to enter blazing homes to help people trapped inside.

“In Heeley in Sheffield earlier this week a woman had to be rescued from a second floor flat by firefighters who found her smoke alarm still in its packaging on the kitchen side,” he added.