Father and son die in caravan blaze

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The Independent Online

A father and son have been killed and a two-year-old girl seriously injured in a caravan fire, police said today.

Officers were called to the Sunny Sands caravan park in Talybont, near Barmouth, Gwynedd, after a caravan was engulfed in flames.

A grandmother and granddaughter were airlifted to Ysbyty Gwynedd hospital.

A North Wales Police spokeswoman said: "A 58-year-old man and his 26-year-old son have died in a caravan fire. His 50-year-old wife and two-year-old granddaughter were rescued from the fire."

Police said the girl suffered severe burns while her grandmother escaped with "superficial burns" to her forearm.

They were rescued by fellow caravaners before the fire service arrived.

The family, who have not yet been named, are from the Flint area of North Wales and were "regulars" at the caravan site.

North Wales Police and North Wales Fire and Rescue Service are investigating.

Police said officers were called by the ambulance service to the park at 1.52am this morning.

"On arrival at the site the caravan was well alight and two people were confirmed to be dead," the spokeswoman said.

The coastal caravan park has been owned and operated by the same family for more than 45 years.

Jeremy Mead, director of the site, said they were working with the police to try to find out how the fire started.

He said: "My brother lives on the park and he heard what he thought was a firework going off at about 1.45am.

"The next minute there was a mass of smoke and that was it."

Scenes of crime officers were at the site.

A white tent and screens have been put up around the caravan.

Mr Mead said he believed the blaze had started in the awning of the touring caravan.

He added: "We would like to express our deepest sympathy to the family. It's upsetting for us because they were regular visitors to the park.

"People have already been calling the park to express their sympathy."

Mr Mead said this was the first incident of its kind on the caravan park which opened in 1963.

It features a seafront club house, indoor heated swimming pool, children's play area and amusement arcade.

The site, set in the Snowdonia National Park, is popular with families and holidaymakers attracted by its miles of sandy beaches.

Ian Williams, 31, from Wrexham, was holidaying with his wife and two-year-old daughter.

He said he had spoken to the family in the club last night and watched as the 26-year-old victim took to the stage to sing a Kings of Leon song.

"They only got here last night. They were in the club singing and dancing. All four of them were on the stage," said Mr Williams.

"My wife woke me up at about 2.30am and we thought someone was fighting because of all the shouting. I looked out and you would not believe how fast it went up. It was scary to be honest. Very scary."

He added: "We were supposed to be here until Monday but we're going home now. It's not what you expect to see is it?"

It is understood the caravan opposite the victims' vehicle was occupied by three men and it was those men who rescued the woman and her granddaughter.

Mark Needham, 40, from Manchester, said he moved his family away from the site while the fire was ablaze for fear of gas explosions.

"We moved the car up to the beach because I was worried about the caravan catching fire. Everyone is quite subdued here today. It's a shock really."