Child started fatal Doncaster fire with cig lighter

Libby-Jayne Hornsby from Don Street, Conisbrough died in house fire
Libby-Jayne Hornsby from Don Street, Conisbrough died in house fire

A two-year-old girl died in a house fire started by another child playing with a with a cigarette lighter, a Doncaster inquest heard today.

Libby-Jayne Hornsby died from smoke inhalation in the blaze at her home in Conisbrough which ripped through the house while she was sleeping in a first-floor bedroom.

Mum Kelly Hambrey had been practising with her majorette band when the fire started at around 7.20pm on October 17 last year - and had left a teenager to babysit Libby.

The inquest heard there were five disposable cigarette lighters around the house, all within easy reach of children.

Another child – who cannot be named for legal reasons – picked up one of the lighters and started playing with it. Within minutes, a fire had started on the bed and the room was soon engulfed with flames and thick smoke.

A post-mortem examination showed it was the “thick and noxious” smoke from the fire which killed the infant.

In a statement read to the court, written by the teenage babysitter, who also cannot be named, he said that he had been babysitting for the mother for around two months while she went to band practice.

The statement read: “About 7.20pm [the child] ran downstairs and said there’s a fire. I ran upstairs, but couldn’t get close to the bedroom door. I could see flames hitting the roof so we ran outside and we heard a window crack.”

Recording a conclusion of accidental death as a result of smoke inhalation, Coroner Nicola Mundy also raised concerns that there were no smoke alarms in the house and said she would write to the Chief Fire Officer’s Association about the fact there is no legislation which requires private landlords to provide the life-saving devices.