Schoolgirl, 10, died in house fire with dad who locked her inside bathroom

·Freelance Writer
·3-min read
Paige Bolton died in a house fire that her father deliberately started, an inquest has concluded. (Reach)
Paige Bolton died in a house fire that her father deliberately started, an inquest has concluded. (Reach)

A schoolgirl died in a devastating house fire after she was locked inside the bathroom by her father – who had deliberately started the blaze.

Garry Bolton and his daughter Paige, 10, died in the fire in the early hours of 25 January 2020, at the house in Wensley Avenue, north Hull, where they lived.

Fire crews had to break into the property using a saw and then discovered the two victims lying together in the bathtub.

Bolton had locked the front door and made access inside difficult, the inquest heard, and no attempt had been made to contact the emergency services.

An inquest into their deaths has now concluded that Paige was killed by her father in a murder-suicide.

Garry Bolton had locked the front door of the house and made access inside difficult. (Reach)
Garry Bolton had locked the front door of the house and made access inside difficult. (Reach)

Delivering a narrative verdict, assistant coroner Ian Sprakes said he believed Bolton had deliberately started the fire, with no logical explanation for the blaze having been started accidentally.

Sprakes also referenced texts sent by Paige to her grandmother before she died saying: "Daddy is scaring me.”

Independent fire investigator Dr Will Hutchinson carried out an investigation into the blaze but he could not say for sure whether the fire had been caused accidentally or deliberately.

However, Humberside Fire and Rescue Service station manager Richard Gibson believed the cause was deliberate as the seat of the fire was in the centre of a bed.

Fire crews had to break into the property using a saw and then discovered the two victims lying together in the bathtub. (Reach)
Fire crews had to break into the property using a saw and then discovered the two victims lying together in the bathtub. (Reach)

Bolton had also written a note expressing self-harm, the inquest heard.

During previous proceedings in August, Sprakes mentioned text messages Bolton had sent to former partner Cherie Rangeley, which he decided not to read out but said “amounted to a suicide note”.

Bolton and Rangeley had twins Paige and Ethan in 2010 through IVF treatment but Ethan died of a heart defect aged just six months, which devastated the couple.

The inquest had heard how Bolton’s mental health seemed to have deteriorated, having already suffered from anxiety, low self-esteem and paranoia.

Addressing the family following his conclusion, Sprakes said: “This is a very sad and, indeed, tragic event.

“There are very few words I can say to relieve the pain and anguish for a truly tragic event.”

Paige's mother Cherie Rangeley said the conclusion of the inquest has left her with few answers. (Reach)
Paige's mother Cherie Rangeley said the conclusion of the inquest has left her with few answers. (Reach)

Speaking after the inquest, Rangeley said the conclusion has left her with few answers.

She said: “There is no closure really. He didn’t have to take my little girl. If you want to kill yourself then fine but he didn’t have to take Paige.

“I feel numb and didn’t really get the answers I was hoping for. I’m not any nearer where I feel I’m supposed to be.”

She added: “I just miss Paige being Paige and being able to hold her. I also miss her beautiful smile.”

For confidential emotional support contact The Samaritans at any time by calling 116 123 or emailing jo@samaritans.org.

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