Lightning struck the roof of a house above the room where a six-week-old baby was sleeping in a cot.
A couple and their two children escaped unhurt, but their house in Blyth was badly damaged. Daniel Smith and a neighbour fought the fire themselves before the fire brigade arrived.
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71-year-old Robert Howard was in jail at HMP Frankland and was due to give evidence at a re-ordered inquest in Belfast.
The victim, a Leeds woman aged in her fifties, was walking her animal along Bootham in York on Friday evening at around 8pm.
A judge said adoption would give the baby the "best prospect" of growing up in a "safe and secure" way.