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BBC Scotland's Leslie Anderson reports
Neighbours saw smoke coming from the upper flat and within minutes the house was ablaze
 real 56k

Tuesday, 10 October, 2000, 15:18 GMT 16:18 UK
Baby dies in flat fire
Fire scene
The flat was virtually gutted in the blaze
A baby girl has died and her mother and two brothers have been taken to hospital after a flat fire in Lanarkshire.

Strathclyde Fire Brigade said the property appeared not to have a working smoke alarm and renewed its appeal for people to have them fitted.

Firefighters discovered the body of nine-month-old Natalie Burns in an upstairs bedroom of the two-storey building in Silverburn Crescent, in Newarthill, Lanarkshire.

Police at fire scene
The cause of the blaze is being investigated
There had been a number of calls to the fire service reporting the blaze just before 0930BST.

Natalie's mother Heidi Burns, 25, and one child managed to escape from the flat. Another child was rescued by a neighbour.

The dead girl's twin brother has been taken to Law Hospital in Carluke with slight burns to a hand.

The twins' five-year-old brother Kyle and their 25-year-old mother, along with a 17-year-old female neighbour who was visiting the flat when the fire broke out, were released after treatment for the effects of smoke.

All are said to be suffering from the effects of smoke and shock.


Members of the public must make sure they have at least one smoke alarm in the home

Fire Brigade
A senior fire officer at the scene said the blaze had taken hold very quickly and the flat was virtually gutted.

Divisional officer John Hoey, of Strathclyde Fire Brigade, said neighbours had fought their way through the smoke to help the survivors escape.

"There were five people in the flat itself. By the time the fire brigade arrived four had been able to get out," he said.

"What the firefighters saw can only be described as a ferocious fire.

"At this stage we have a specialist fire investigation unit here. It's going to take perhaps two to three days to determine a cause."

Mr Hoey said lessons should be learned from the fire.

John Hoey
John Hoey: "This is a horrendous scene"
He said: "This is a horrendous scene. I think this is an opportunity for us all to consider how terrible fire can be in any circumstances.

"It's been terrible for the family, it's terrible for the emergency services, it's terrible for the community. It has an effect on absolutely everybody."

Strathclyde Fire Brigade said there did not appear to be a working smoke alarm in the house.

A spokesperson said: "Members of the public must make sure they have at least one smoke alarm in the home.

"Where working smoke alarms are provided, fire is discovered much quicker, there is less chance of family members being injured and damage to the property from the effects of fire, heat and smoke is always much less."

The brigade is encouraging the use of residential fire sprinklers.

These systems detect the fire, raise the alarm and fight the flames using a controlled water spray.

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See also:

27 Mar 00 | Scotland
Fire boy laid to rest
24 Jan 00 | Scotland
Fatal fire cause may never be known
07 Dec 99 | Scotland
Blaze child loses fight for life
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