Clutter blamed for girl's house fire death

A three-year-old girl died in a house fire which was fuelled by piles of clutter strewn around her family home, an inquest heard.Tragic Amelia Brown was in her bedroom when a fire started in the kitchen at the house at Grinacombe Moor near Lifton in Devon last December.

Her grandfather David, who was babysitting while her mother Abigail was out, managed to escape but Amelia was overcome by fumes and died of smoke inhalation.

Firefighters were beaten back by the heat, which was so extreme it melted the plastic on their helmet visors.

I saw an extraordinary amount of hoarding and rubbish.It would have made moving around the property very difficult and would have made what I would call normal living activity virtually impossible.

– Detective Sergeant Barry Mitchell, Devon & Cornwall Police

Coroner John Tomalin said the exact cause of the blaze would never be known as the home's kitchen was too badly damaged. He recorded a verdict of accidental death at the inquest in Bideford.