Mother pleads for housing 'electrical checks' after losing children in fire

Serious house fire being investigated in Village,
Buttercup Way, St Neots
Thursday 10 December 2020.
Picture by Terry...

Serious house fire being investigated in Village, Buttercup Way, St Neots Thursday 10 December 2020. Picture by Terry Harris. - Credit: © Terry Harris

A mother who tragically lost her two children in a house fire in St Neots has pleaded for “extensive electrical checks” on all properties on the estate to prevent any more deaths. 

Sienna Jenkins, aged seven, and her brother Isaac, aged three, died following the tragic blaze on December 10, 2020, at their home in Buttercup Avenue, Eynesbury. 

At a pre-inquest review opened this morning (May 7) in Huntingdon, their mother Jade Horton asked if nationwide checks could be made to similar houses if any electrical faults were found on the estate in St Neots. 

It comes as a police investigation last December concluded the most probable cause of the fire was an "electrical fault in a first-floor bedroom at the property". 

Speaking to area coroner for Cambridgeshire Elizabeth Gray, Ms Horton said: “I know on certain town houses there is equipment installed to allow people to escape. 

“Could it be for the estate [in St Neots] that they have extensive electrical checks and that these are extended across the whole company and their buildings if any faults are found? 

“I just don’t want any more deaths to occur.” 

Ms Horton, 35, suffered life-changing injuries after jumping from a window of the burning building. 

In addressing Ms Horton’s concerns, Ms Gray said: “As a direct query from yourself Ms Horton, we will get a specialist report on building and safety construction of the house you were a resident in. 

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“I have seen what the fire inspector has said but he is not an architect or building surveyor, therefore we will get a suitable report detailing the construction details of the property you were living in.” 

A wider report into the safety of similar houses could also be made by the coroner “if appropriate”, the court heard. 

The full inquests for Sienna and Isaac are set to be held at the beginning of September at Lawrence Court, in Huntingdon. 

Alongside building safety standards, the incident itself and the “spread and speed of the fire” will also be the key points covered. 

The police inspector who attended the blaze and station commander Pete Jones from the fire service are set to be present as witnesses. 

Reports from the ambulance service will be read out alongside a report from a fire accident forum that is yet to take place, Ms Gray said.

Post mortem examinations were conducted in February for both children, and both were given provisional causes of death as smoke inhalation and a house fire. 

Last month, an emotional video was released of Ms Horton taking her first steps after being told she may never walk again. 

She told Ste Greenall of Black Cat Radio: "It's all in memory of my beautiful children.”