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60 years ago: Child, 3, dies in Highbury inferno

PUBLISHED: 07:19 21 March 2020

Islington Gazette 60 years ago wk9. Picture: Islington Gazette

Islington Gazette 60 years ago wk9. Picture: Islington Gazette

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A three-year-old boy died in a blaze which gutted his home in Highbury 60 years ago, despite rescue attempts by neighbours who were beaten back by the searing heat.

The boy, had been left alone in a ground floor flat in Riversadale Road with his 7-year-old brother and younger sister, aged 2.

An oil heater in the same room as the children was believed to have caught fire.

The children's mother reportedly left the kids at home while going to collect her husband from Royal Northern Hospital, where he'd been a patient.

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A neighbour who witnessed the fire told the Gazette: "I heard a loud thud and looked out of the window to see a sheet of flame go through the centre of the house."

Women living in other parts of the house ran into the streets with their babies.

The seven-year-old fled the house and tried to get neighbours to help his brother, who was still inside.

Several neighbours then attempted to rescue him, but couldn't.

"It was like an inferno," one told the Gazette.


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