Page last updated at 08:11 GMT, Tuesday, 24 June 2008 09:11 UK

Woman dies after blaze rescue bid


Three firefighters were injured in the blaze in Great Lever

A 71-year-old woman has died and a firefighter has been seriously injured in a house fire in Greater Manchester.

The blaze broke out at the house in Little Holme Walk in Great Lever, Bolton, shortly before midnight.

The fire also left another woman critically ill and a five-year-old child in a serious condition.

A joint investigation to establish the cause of the fire has been launched by specialist fire investigation officers and Greater Manchester Police.

A man in his 70s, who was also in the house, suffered burns to his leg and hand and is also being treated at the Royal Bolton Hospital.

His injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.

'Tragic incident'

The 24-year-old woman remains in a critical condition at the Royal Bolton Hospital and the five-year-old girl has been taken to Pendlebury Children's Hospital where her condition is described as serious.

A firefighter suffered up to 50% burns to his lower back and legs, and serious burns to his hands, and two others were seriously hurt.

All are being treated in hospital.

According to Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, the alarm was raised by a smoke detector but as the blaze was blocking the front door, crews had to force their way in around the back of the house.

Vinny Simpson, from the fire service, said: "At this time our thoughts are with the family and friends of the lady who died and the other occupants of the house who were involved in this tragic incident.

"We will work with our partners to find out how this tragedy happened.

"I would also like to recognise the outstanding bravery of the firefighters who entered the property to rescue the occupants in very physically demanding conditions, disregarding the risk to themselves in an attempt to save them."

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