Coroner calls for action after shed blaze which killed South Yorkshire teen

A shed blaze which killed a South Yorkshire teenager has prompted concerns about the way calls are handled by the fire brigade.

Monday, 3rd April 2017, 2:07 pm
Updated Saturday, 8th April 2017, 9:19 pm
Jack Sheldon, aged 13, died in a shed fire

Jack Sheldon, aged 13, was cleaning a motorbike by candlelight in his family's garden shed in Byron Avenue, Campsall, Doncaster, when the petrol fumes ignited last October.

An inquest heard the wrong fire engine was sent that day, resulting in a four-minute delay in firefighters arriving at the scene, though it is not believed this contributed to his death.

Police at the scene of the tragedy

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Coroner Nicola Mundy has now written to South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue asking chiefs there to address her concerns in an attempt to prevent future deaths.

Her report tells how four emergency calls were made that day to the fire service. A fire engine was reserved after the first call but was not sent, meaning when a second call came in with more details a fire engine further from the address was instead dispatched.

She says Jack's body was only discovered after the blaze had been extinguished and the four-minute delay is unlikely to have cost him his life.

But she warns there is a risk future deaths could occur unless action is taken to improve call handling protocols and ensure staff are adequately trained to ensure the most appropriate vehicle is sent.

Police at the scene of the tragedy

"During the course of the inquest the evidence revealed matters giving rise to concern. In my opinion there is a risk that future deaths will occur unless action is taken," she wrote.

The 'regulation 28 report' was published today, having been sent on March 14 to Chief Fire Officer James Courtney, who was given 56 days in which to respond.

The fire service announced following the conclusion of the inquest last month that it would commence an internal investigation into concerns surrounding the way its crews were mobilised that day.