Highlands & Islands

Boy dies trapped in Highlands house fire in Milton

Aiden Owens
Image caption Aiden died after becoming trapped in the blaze

A six-year-old boy has died after being trapped in a burning house in the village of Milton in the Highlands.

Aiden Owens was trapped in the blaze at the end-of-terrace property in Cromarty Drive, Milton, near Invergordon, shortly before 0230 BST on Sunday.

His mother and sister Chloe, 11, escaped by jumping out of a window and were taken to hospital in Inverness.

Police said retained firefighters responded to the alarm within five minutes and reached the scene in seven.

Northern Constabulary said the cause of the blaze was not yet known and a joint police and fire investigation was under way.

The woman suffered minor injuries, while the girl's injuries were said to be more serious but not life-threatening.

In a statement, the boy's grandmother said: "Aiden was a wonderful wee boy who was very special to us all and who was loved by everybody that knew him."

Caroline Cameron, head teacher of Milton Primary School, in Kildary, where Aiden was a pupil said he would be missed by staff and his friends.

She said: "All his friends and staff are remembering the many happy times we shared together.

"He has left a gap in our Milton Primary family. It is a quiet place today. Our hearts go out to Aiden's family. We feel their loss."

Aiden's sister, Chloe, is a primary seven pupil at at the school.

Miss Cameron added: "We are thinking about Chloe as she recovers in hospital."

Northern Constabulary said the fire caused considerable structural damage and the remains of the boy were located once the building was made safe.

Image caption The house was badly damaged in the fire, which started in the middle of the night

More than 20 firefighters attended the scene and battled to control the fire overnight.

Insp Gordon Greenlees, of Northern Constabulary, paid tribute to the emergency services crews who attended what he described as a "very sad incident".

The officer said: "The fire appliances arrived within minutes of being mobilised and firefighters and police officers at the scene carried out a tremendous job in the most harrowing and difficult of circumstances."

He added: "I would like to add my thanks to members of the public who assisted on the night and appreciate that this is a tragic event for the whole community as well as the family.

"This was a difficult set of circumstances for all the emergency personnel involved and I am appreciative of their joint efforts.

"A wee boy has tragically lost his life and a family has lost both their youngest member, their home and all their possessions."

Richard Durham, convener of the Highlands and Islands Fire Board and a local councillor, said: "This was a real tragedy for a family and a community.

"I would like to pay tribute to all the emergency services personnel who were involved in this terrible incident.

"It cannot fail to touch anyone who was involved or is part of the local community."

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