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4 children plucked from fire in home; TWO SUSPECTED OF NEGLECT.

Byline: By BRENDA HICKMAN Crime Reporter

A CHILD neglect probe was launched after four young children had to be rescued from a blaze-hit home.

The youngsters, a six-month-old baby, two four-year-olds and a five-year-old, all girls, were carried to safety by firefighters alerted by neighbours in North Shields.

Now the Chronicle can reveal police have arrested and cautioned their grandmother Margaret Moy and mother Sarah Moy in connection with the probe.

Police and fire chiefs today praised quick-thinking residents in a flat above who heard a smoke alarm going off on Tuesday night.

An emergency call sent firefighters to the scene in Ripley Avenue, North Shields, where the children had been staying with their grandmother.

When rescuers forced entry, they found the youngsters in a distressed state.

A pan on the cooker is believed to have started the blaze in the kitchen.

What confronted emergency services within the home has led to concerns over the children.

They were initially being looked after by police after receiving treatment and check-ups in hospital for smoke inhalation.

Today the children are being looked after elsewhere while police inquiries concluded.

Det Insp Geoff Forsyth, of North Tyneside command area public protection unit, said: "We were alerted on Tuesday night to a fire at a house in North Shields.

"The alert was raised after a small fire in the kitchen set off the smoke alarm, which was heard by neighbours.

"Firefighters went to the address and gained entry.

"Four children, aged from six months to an eight-year-old, were discovered in the house. They were rescued with their grandmother and taken to hospital for treatment and check-ups for smoke inhalation."

Det Insp Forsyth added: "I can confirm a 53-year-old woman has been arrested in connection with suspected child neglect.

"A woman, 25, was subsequently arrested on suspicion of child neglect.

"Our concerns are with the welfare of the children.

"Had it not been for the fire alarm, this so easily could have been a tragic fatality involving four children and an adult."

The women have now been cautioned.

A North Tyneside Council spokesman said: "We are putting appropriate support services in place for the family."
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Mar 6, 2008
Words:359
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