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ARSON HUNT AS JOCKEYS DIE IN FIRE; Ace Scots jockey Jan, 19, and pal Jamie, 18, killed in horror flat blaze.


TWO teenage jockeys died yesterday after an arson attack at their block of flats.

Trainees Jamie Kyne and Jan Wilson - tipped as future racing stars - were killed in the blaze as other residents jumped from windows.

The horseracing world was in shock yesterday with jockeys around the country wearing black armbands and racecourses falling silent and flying flags at half mast.

The bodies of pals Jan, 19, and Jamie, 18, were still to be removed from the flats late yesterday afternoon amid fears the three-storey building in Norton, near Malton, Yorks, could collapse.

Police are treating the fire as suspicious and were last night questioning a local man in his 30s.

They believe the fire was started deliberately in a stairwell, blocking the escape route as the building burned down.

Jan, from Forfar, Angus, known as 'Wee Wilson', had earlier this year won her first race.

She left school in Forfar in 2007 and went to study at the British Racing School for jockeys at Newmarket, in Suffolk. Since last year, she has been an apprentice jockey with trainer David Barron.

Proud mother Margaret watched her win the Imperial Sword at Ripon racecourse at odds of 12-1 in April.

Last night Margaret and husband Drew were with family support staff at Malton police station.

They were too upset to comment last night but friends of Jan left a stream of heartbreaking farewell messages on her Bebo website.

Jamie, 18, from Galway, Ireland, had won rave reviews in racing circles as one of the country's most promising young jockeys. He was due to have ridden horse Ginger Ted in the 4.05 at Haydock yesterday. His elder brother Gerald last night said: "Nobody called to tell us what has happened and we just can't understand why.

"The entire family are just heartbroken. We don't know what to do with ourselves. I just can't cry any more tears."

Jamie's jockey girlfriend, Sarah-Jane Hunter, said: "I didn't realise how much he meant to me till this morning when I was told he'd died."

Jamie's former flatmate, horse trainer Gerry Davin, called him "a typical cheeky Irish lad". Gerry, 25, said: "I lived with Jamie for eight months last year and he was the best mate you could ask for.

"He was always up for a laugh but was also committed to his work. He had wanted to be a jockey his entire life - riding for a living was living out his dream."

The fire started at 2.15am. One man had to jump from the top floor of the three-storey block, known as The Tannery, breaking both his legs.

Around five minutes later, 60 firefighters were at the scene but they could not get into the house at first because the fire was on the staircase.

Local landlord Steve Kinsella opened his pub to 20 people who had been evacuated.

He said: "They were shocked but quiet. It's just very, very sad for young lives to be lost like that."

Last night, the red-brick building had been cordoned off, with charred windows still visible.

A police spokesman said: "At this moment the fire is suspicious and we ask the community for their help."


Tragic loss... Jamie Kyne Burned-out flat where Jan and Jamie lived Young talent... Jan Wilson A winner... Jan races for the line
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Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Sep 6, 2009
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