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Last Updated:  Sunday, 30 March, 2003, 10:05 GMT 11:05 UK
Inquiry into fire death of boy, 12

Detectives and fire investigators are still trying to work out how a 12-year-old boy was killed in a tragic fire accident.

Gwent Police believe that Richard Hawrot suffered fatal injuries as he and his friend tried to refuel a scooter in the back yard of a house in Newport.

The house in Jones Street, in the Stow Hill area of Newport belonged to the family of 13-year-old Tobias Mills, who was severely injured in the fire.

He remains in a critical condition at Morriston Hospital in Swansea.

Police think that one of the boys may have used a cigarette lighter to help them see what they were doing in the darkness.

The fuel caught light and the children were trapped in the enclosed courtyard-style back garden.

Richard suffered fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Tobias suffered serious burns and was taken to the specialist burns unit at Morriston.

Both boys were are pupils at St Julian's School in Newport and lived within a few streets of each other.

The emergency services were called to the scene at 2000 GMT on Friday.

It took firefighters an hour to bring the blaze under control.

Neighbours said Tobias Mills - who had only recently moved to the street - managed to get into the house and made his way to a front window.

They helped pull him out, but were unable to get into the back yard to reach Richard Hawrot.

A Gwent Police spokesman said: "We offer our condolences to the families of the victims."

Councillor John Marsh, who represents the Stow Hill ward on Newport City Council, said he was shocked at the tragedy.

"This is a very sad happening. As a representative for the area I know people will be very upset indeed," he said.

Fellow ward councillor, Miqdad Al Nuaimi, said: "My thoughts are with the families of those children. It is a tragic incident."

BBC Wales' Penny Roberts
"The petrol burst into flames, trapping them in the courtyard"


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