Fire kills three sisters despite mother's rescue attempts

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The Independent Online

Three young sisters died after fire swept through their house in Lancashire early yesterday.

A faulty tumble dryer is believed to have caused the blaze that killed the three girls - Louise Waddington, 11, and her sisters Hayley, 10, and Gemma, seven.

They were trapped inside the house in Padiham, near Burnley, after a fire broke out on the ground floor just before midnight and quickly filled the house with thick smoke. The children's mother Jayne Waddington, 40, battled against intense heat and choking smoke to try to save them but eventually had to leap out of a window to save herself. Her husband Barry, 39, who is a taxi driver, is believed to have been working at the time of the blaze.

Firefighters reached the girls - one on the ground floor and two upstairs - but they died later at Burnley Royal Infirmary. Mike Painter, the area commander of Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, said the cause of the blaze was still under investigation. He said: "It was a very intense fire which spread quickly." He described Mrs Waddington's actions as heroic."She made enormous efforts to bring her kids to safety, facing intense heat and smoke."