Brothers hugged during fire death

The brothers who died in the Langney fire were found huddled together under the stairs, an inquest has heard.

Lewis and Taylor were killed in a house fire in Milfoil Drive three years ago and an inquest into their deaths is currently being held at Eastbourne Magistrates Court.

On Wednesday morning (October 19), The boys’ mother Denise Goldsmith sobbed as the coroner was told the two boys had been found huddled together under the stairs and seven-year-old Lewis had his arm round his younger brother Taylor, five.

The two little boys were found to have bad burns but the cause of death given by three pathologists was inhalation of fire fumes.

Mark Hobbs, fire investigation officer at East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, said the fire started under the stairs in a den the boys had made from bedding and clothing.

A disposable lighter and candles were found in the den and Mr Hobbs said the most likely cause was the boys playing with fire.

Ms Goldsmith confirmed to the police and fire service that her son Taylor was ‘absolutely obsessed with fire’.

A hysterical Ms Goldsmith escaped from the burning building when the fire took hold on the afternoon of October 4 2008 and neighbours attempted to get in to the property to save the boys before the emergency services arrived. The heroic neighbours were unable to reach the children because the fire developed so rapidly.

Alan Craze said, “Death would have occurred in one or two minutes.

“However heroic the efforts of the two or three members of the public or the firefighters they would not have been able to save those boys.”