A mother and her three children have died in a house fire in Bolton, Greater Manchester police have said.
The children’s father, named locally as Zubair, managed to escape the blaze by jumping from a first floor window.
He tried to get back inside the house to rescue his two sons, his daughter and their mother who were all trapped inside the family home.
He was unable to break into the house until fire fighters arrived on the scene with specialist equipment.
All three children are believed to be under the age of 13.
Firefighters were called to the terraced house in Rosamond Street in the Daubhill area of the town at 9am on Saturday morning.
A witness said she watched as emergency services performed CPR on two people taken from the burning building. “I saw them bringing people out. They were doing chest compressions,” she told reporters at the scene.
She watched from her window as smoke billowed from the property. “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.
“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.”
Police have said the man was being treated in hospital and was in a stable condition.
Speaking at the scene of the blaze, Tony Hunter, assistant county fire officer, said flames had melted the plaster inside the house.
“We were called to reports of a family trapped inside a house on fire. When we arrived a man believed to be the father had jumped from the first floor and made his way to the ground floor. He was fighting with his fists to get back into the property,” Hunter told reporters.
“It took four firefighters and specialised tools to break the door down. We then sent firefighters in through the intense heat up the first floor and found three children a woman, believed to be their mother, on the first floor. We rescued them and brought them out of the property and by then we were met with colleagues from North West Ambulance Service.”
DCI Chris Bridge, from Greater Manchester police’s Bolton borough, said: “These are utterly heartbreaking 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 [Greater Manchester fire and rescue service] 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.”
Greater Manchester fire and rescue service tweeted:
The Greater Manchester mayor, Andy Burnham, said: “Dreadful news coming out of Bolton today. My thoughts are with the family, their friends and the whole community.”