Mum of toddler who died in Ingoldmells caravan fire tells of heartbreak

The mum of a toddler who died in a caravan fire on a family holiday has described the moment she lost her daughter in the smoke and realised "I had to leave her".

Natasha Broadley, 35, was staying with her four children at Sealands Caravan Park in August 2021 when a fire caught hold.

As smoke quickly filled the caravan, she managed to rescue three of her children, but was unable to find her youngest, Louisiana Brooke Dolan.

Miss Broadley, from Newark, North Nottinghamshire, said: "The black smoke was just heaving behind me. I took one last breath and went back in. I just kept patting [the sofa] and I couldn't find her."

She held back tears as she spoke of the moment of "knowing that [I] had to leave her", telling ITV News: "I had to throw myself out of the window.

Louisiana Brooke Dolan, 2, died in Ingoldmells in 2021. Credit: Family handout

"My children said they thought I had died because I was holding my breath that much. I collapsed outside the window."

Miss Broadley had been in the bathroom when her eldest daughter said she could smell smoke and "all hell broke loose".

"When I opened the bathroom door the fire was there," she said. "Your mind clicks into a different perspective. I just grabbed my daughter straight behind me and ran to the bay window."

The aftermath of the fire at the caravan park. Credit: John Aron

Miss Broadley said Louisiana Brooke was "always smiling", adding: "She was my life, she was my one in a million."

An inquest into Louisiana's death this month heard the fire started in the boiler cupboard, but it could not be determined if the boiler had caused the fire.

Miss Broadley has started campaigning for better awareness around fire legislation in caravans.

She said she asked for the boiler to be checked several times and there was no smoke alarm in the caravan.

She said: "I could have saved her and now she's gone and we are still here. So I'm going to fight for everything to make sure people are protected in a caravan.

"You don't want to come back with one less child."

Hundreds of mourners lined the streets of Newark for Louisiana's funeral. Credit: ITV News

Miss Broadley is due to meet her MP Robert Jenrick as part of her campaign to improve awareness of fire safety in caravans.

"Let's change things," she said. "It is what it is but if smoke alarms were there it would have been different."

In a statement, the caravan site owner Laver Leisure said: "On our Parks all home owners are required to have a gas test every year and an electricity test every three years.

"Our owners are now sent emails and SMS messages two months, one month and two weeks before their existing certificates expire."

The company said that following the tragedy it has "reviewed and expanded" on what it believes should be included within the gas test certification.

"On our parks there are additional requirements for homes that are rented out to have both a smoke and carbon monoxide alarm, plus we also require that there is a fire blanket and suitable fire extinguisher in the home. 

"If the alarms or extinguishing equipment are absent then the gas test fails and the home is unavailable for occupation until the failures or absences are rectified."

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