Woman and three children die in house fire
A woman and three children have died following a house fire in Bolton, police have confirmed.
Police and firefighters were called to reports of the blaze in Rosamond Street at around 9am on Saturday.
A man managed to escape the terraced house but two boys and a girl, all under the age of 13, and a woman were still inside.
One of the children was pronounced dead at the scene and the woman and two children died later in hospital.
A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police said further updates were expected later.
In a statement, the force said: “We attended a serious house fire on Rosamond Street in Bolton. Officers and firefighters are at the scene along with firefighters and paramedics.
“We urge the public to stay away from the area as road closures will be in force for the foreseeable future.”
Desperate images from the scene show despondent firefighters, visibly upset by the heartbreaking incident.
More forensics arriving at the scene. pic.twitter.com/1cD300SIxy— Charlotte Dobson (@dobsonMEN) July 8, 2017
Police have launched a joint investigation with Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) to learn the cause of the blaze.
Detective Chief Inspector Chris Bridge, from GMP's Bolton borough, said: "These are utterly heart-breaking circumstances and our thoughts go out to anyone affected by this tragic incident.
"This appears to be a family home and we have been working to inform loved ones of this awful loss.
"I know the community will feel the impact of this and I assure you we are working with our colleagues at GMFRS to get to the bottom of what happened, although we are currently not treating it as suspicious.
"This means there will be officers and fire investigators in the area for some time and I would like to thank residents for their patience so far.
"This happened on a Saturday morning when many people would be up and about and I would appeal to anyone with any information about this incident to please call us."
An eyewitness reported seeing two people being given CPR as emergency services tackled the fire.
The resident of Rosamond Street, Bolton, said she was alerted to a "commotion" at around 9am on Saturday and saw a man banging on a door of one of the terraced houses.
Crime scene investigators were at the scene, in the Daubhill area of the town, she said.
The woman said: "It's terrible, absolutely terrible.
"I saw them bringing people out. They were doing chest compressions.
"I saw them bring two out and then they put a green sheet up. I don't know if they were bringing fatalities out.
"It was 9am this morning when I heard all this commotion. Somebody - I don't know whether he lived there - there was just a load of hammering, banging on a door.
"I went to the window and saw smoke billowing.
"When I saw him after he had his hands bandaged up and his head. He either lived there and managed to get out or he was trying to get in."
A GMFRS tweet said: "Our deepest condolences go to the family and the community. We will be in the local area in the coming days reassuring residents."
Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham said: "Dreadful news coming out of Bolton today. My thoughts are with the family, their friends & the whole community."
GMFRS assistant county fire officer Tony Hunter told reporters the man was believed to be the children's father and he had escaped by jumping from a first floor window.
He had tried to get back into the home to rescue his children and their mother but was unable to do so until four firefighters used a specialist tool to break the door down, Mr Hunter added.