Cwmbran fire: Three generations of Buckley family die
- 18 September 2012
- From the section South East Wales
Police have named three generations of a family who were killed in a house fire in Cwmbran in south east Wales.
Kim Buckley, 46, her daughter Kayleigh, 17, and Kayleigh's six-month-old baby Kimberley were found in the house in Tillsland, Coed Eva.
Gwent Police said two neighbours "valiantly and bravely" tried to save the victims before fire crews arrived.
A 27-year-old man from the Manchester area has been arrested on suspicion of murder.
"This is a clearly a tragic and horrendous incident where three generations of the same family have sadly lost their lives today," said Chief Insp Steve Corcoran.
"This has affected the wider community, they were well known within the community and their loss will be keenly felt and they will be missed.
"We are grateful for the co-operation of the community at this awful time. We are working with partners to ensure that all those affected will be given support."
Ch Insp Corcoran confirmed the bodies are still to be formally identified but family members have been asked to be left alone to grieve.
He added that two residents tried to rescue the victims before the fire service arrived by climbing up a ladder to the first floor, but were forced back by the flames.
The upper floor of the two-storey building is burnt out, with windows and parts of the roof missing.
Large groups of police officers remain at the scene and a large area has been cordoned off.
Dewi Rose, head of operations at South Wales Fire and Rescue Service said: "Five fire stations and approximately 30 firefighters quickly arrived at the scene of the incident and fire crews worked hard to extinguish the fire and attempted to rescue the persons trapped inside the building.
He added: "We are and will continue to work with our partners Gwent Police and scenes of crime to establish the cause of the fire."
Some neighbours awoke to learn of the night's events after sleeping through the tragedy.
Sandra Gough, 64, who lives a few doors down, said: "I heard banging and screaming at about 3am. It could well have been somebody trying to force their way in or out of the burning house."
She added: "It was only when I got up this morning that I heard what happened, but I didn't realise it was so close.
"I saw all the ambulances outside and the house was still smoking. It is terrible, absolutely horrific."
Jean Lewis, who lives nearby, said she was woken in the early hours by the lights from the emergency service vehicles.
"I did walk round to see what was happening but the area has been blocked off," she said.
"Cwmbran isn't a very big place and the houses are very close together.
"I've lived here seven years and around my street everybody knows each other."
Colin Haggett, 69, another resident added: "People are devastated for the family, this has come as a real shock.
"Nobody I've spoken to this morning heard anything last night. It has shocked everyone this morning."
Torfaen Welsh assembly member Lynne Neagle said: "I'm totally shocked by this tragedy, which has seen three innocent lives lost in terrible circumstances. My thoughts are with their families."
She said that Coed Eva was an incredibly tight-knit community and that people would be deeply affected and saddened.
Local MP Paul Murphy added: "My heart goes out to the family and friends of those killed in this awful fire, and I'd like to offer them my thoughts and prayers at this difficult time.
"I'd appeal for anyone who can help the police with their investigation to come forward."
Gwent Police said fire service and police forensic examinations are under way to establish the cause and nature of the fire.
Any witnesses are asked to contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.