Tree lights suspected in fire that killed four

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The Independent Online
A FIRE that killed members of three generations of a family may have been caused by faulty wiring in Christmas tree lights, investigators said.

Melvin Bayford, 36, his wife Tracy, 28, their six-year-old daughter, Kelly, and her grandfather, Granville, were killed when flames engulfed their home in Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire, early yesterday.

The blaze broke out in the lounge of the house in Apton Road at about 2am. Firemen wearing breathing apparatus broke through the front door but were beaten back at first by the heat. Eventually, they found three bodies in a front room and the fourth in the bathroom. Only Kelly's white terrier, Snowy, survived.

Melvin's mother, Kathleen Bayford, said yesterday: 'There will never ever be a Christmas again for us.'

In another tragedy, three young children died when fire swept through the family's tenement flat in Gourdie Place, Dundee, about 2am yesterday. The victims were Mark Chalmers, five, his sister Leanne, three, and brother Shaun, two.

Their grandmother, Pamela Cowie, 45, who was in the flat at the time, was taken to the Ninewells Hospital, but her condition was later said to be no longer serious. The children's 23-year-old mother was on a night out. The fire is believed to have started in a back bedroom. The cause is being investigated.