Lighter may have sparked fire that led to schoolboys’ brave rescue

Peter, Paul and Connor have been hailed as heroes for going to the rescue
Peter, Paul and Connor have been hailed as heroes for going to the rescue
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A FOUR-YEAR-OLD boy who was at the centre of a rescue drama when his home went on fire may have sparked the blaze himself by playing with a lighter, it has emerged.

Tyler Pollock was led to safety after the fire broke out at his home in Armadale in West Lothian on Thursday evening.

As the Evening News told yesterday, three schoolboys spotted flames as they played in the park behind Tyler and his mum Victoria’s home around 7.15pm.

Paul Rankin, 14, entered the four-in-a-block property in Mayfield Drive to help, while friends Peter Shaw, 13, and Connor McClunk, 13, tried to extinguish the fire in the bedroom.

Fire investigators are now understood to be examining the possibility that Tyler may have sparked the fire by accident after picking up a lighter or a pack of matches.

“It is thought the fire began on the carpet and spread to the bed.

Tyler and Victoria, 22, escaped with only smoke inhalation. They were resting yesterday, but Victoria’s mum Catherine said the boys had been brave to help them out.

Connor was also treated for smoke inhalation, as was Peter, who suffered a burn injury to his leg.

Today, Paul said: “We held our jumpers over our noses because there was so much smoke. I helped the wee boy while Connor and Peter tried to put the fire out.”

He added: “We’d do it again if we needed to. Everyone was coming up to us in school and asking what happened. My mum and dad think it’s great.”

The fire did not spread past the bedroom and was extinguished by firefighters, who rushed into the house as neighbours looked on.

Neighbour James Black, 51, also ran into the house once the youngsters had emerged to ensure everyone was out and to determine if the fire was still alight.

A fire spokeswoman said it advises against trying to help in such situations but that it was a relief that everyone escaped without serious injury.

She said: “In general situations our advice is if you become aware of a building or a property on fire we’d advise you to stand back, ensure the fire service has been notified, and wait for them to arrive.

“Trying to help is brave thing to do, and in many occasions has prevented people from injury. However, our advice has to be not to go into a burning building and to wait for the professionals. That said, we’re very happy in this circumstance that everyone escaped without any great harm.”