Fire chiefs to investigate response to blaze in which South Yorkshire boy died

Jack Sheldon
Jack Sheldon

An investigation is to be launched into the fire service response to a blaze in which a South Yorkshire teenager died.

Jack Sheldon, aged 13, was cleaning a motorbike by candlelight in a shed in his garden in Byron Avenue, Campsall, Doncaster, when the fire broke out last October.

Jack Sheldon died in a shed fire in his garden

Jack Sheldon died in a shed fire in his garden

An inquest into his death, held yesterday, heard that petrol fumes ignited as he cleaned a bike by candlelight.

Nobody was aware that the youngster was in the shed at the time and his badly burned body was found by firefighters once the flames were extinguished.

Coroner Nicola Mundy said she had concerns about fire service systems after hearing that there was a four-minute delay in firefighters arriving because the wrong engine was sent out.

There was a fire crew closer to the shed fire but a fire service 'error' when 999 calls were logged meant that an engine further away was sent.

Ms Mundy said she did not think the four-minute delay altered the outcome, but that she would raise the issues with fire chiefs.

Today, a South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue spokeswoman said: "This was an incredibly tragic incident and our thoughts and condolences remain with Jack’s family and friends.

"Deaths from fire always touch both our staff and the local community very deeply, but even more so when the person who dies is a child.

"Our firefighters dealt with what was an unusual and ultimately extremely tragic set of circumstances in a professional and expert manner.

“We have been working closely with both the Coroner and South Yorkshire Police to help determine the events that led up to the tragic death of Jack Sheldon.

"The inquest raised some concerns around the way in which our firefighters were mobilised to the incident.

"It was made clear by the Coroner that issues around our response to this incident did not contribute to Jack losing his life.

"Part of the information provided to this Inquest, in support of the Coroner, was an examination of the mobilisation of our appliances to this incident.

"Now that the inquest has concluded, we are able to commence an internal investigation into those circumstances.”