Two children killed and mother suffers life-changing injuries in house fire

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Two children have died and their mother suffered life-changing injuries in a house fire in Cambridgeshire.

Police said it is believed the fire broke out at around 7am on Thursday at the three-storey house in Buttercup Avenue, Eynesbury.

Cambridgeshire Police said a three-year-old boy and a seven-year-old girl were pronounced dead at the scene.

Their 35-year-old mother was taken to hospital with life-changing injuries and her partner, a 46-year-old man, suffered minor injuries.

Eynesbury house fire
Emergency services at the scene of the house fire in Eynesbury, Cambridgeshire (Joe Giddens/PA)

Police and fire service officers are continuing their investigations at the property on Friday, and floral tributes and soft toys have begun to pile up on a verge near the house.

Windows on the terraced home’s second and third floors are completely burnt-out with the rooms inside blackened and guttering melted away.

The house is on a modern estate near St Neots, with many homes decorated for Christmas – including a festive wreath on one immediate neighbour’s door.

Neighbour Charles Cooper, 30, said: “The flames went up fairly swiftly.

Eynesbury house fire
People leave floral tributes near the scene of the tragedy (Joe Giddens/PA)

“It took a good three or four hours before the smoke abated.

“The flames were coming out of the top window.”

He said he did not know the family to speak to but said “we would give them a wave”.

He added: “I’ve seen the children playing in the garden.

“Everyone’s perfectly polite and pleasant but it’s not the sort of place we all get together on a regular basis.”

Neighbour Peter Kellythorn, 40, said there was a smell “like something might be smouldering” when he awoke on Thursday.

“I got dressed, came outside and there was smoke billowing out from the back window,” he said.

He added that a satellite dish on the house appeared to have melted, and said: “The heat – it doesn’t bear thinking about.

Eynesbury house fire
The children’s mother suffered life-changing injuries in the fire (Joe Giddens/PA)

“We hoped everyone had got out.

“They’re fairly new houses and they’re all fitted with fire alarms and things.

“It’s just awful.”

A tribute on a teddy bear left at the scene said: “We have no words. So heartbroken. Hope you are all in a better place. XXX.”

A message left on a card said: “Dear darling angels, keep holding each other’s hands. You are so loved.”

A GoFundMe page set up by a neighbour with a target of raising £1,000 for the family had reached more than £3,000 by Friday lunchtime.

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