Dad and daughter died in locked bathroom as home went up in flames, inquest hears

Garry Bolton, 47, and his daughter Paige died in the tragic incident in Hull on January 25 last year – firefighters had to break down the door

Firefighters found a dad and his 10-year-old daughter locked in the bathroom of their home as it was engulfed in flames, an inquest has heard.

Both Garry Bolton, 47, and his daughter Paige died in the blaze in Hull on January 25 last year.

Firefighters had to break down the locked bathroom door, where they found both Garry and Paige in the bath, Hull Live reports.

Mr Bolton died at the scene while Paige was rushed to Hull Royal Infirmary in a desperate attempt to save her life.

But Hull Coroner’s Court heard on Thursday morning how both father and daughter succumbed to the effects of smoke inhalation.

Pathologist Dr Michael Parsons confirmed to the inquest, presided over by senior coroner Michael Mellun, that smoke inhalation had been the cause of death for both Paige and Mr Bolton.

The pathologist, who carried out the post mortem examinations, said it was likely dad Garry had died within minutes.

He said Garry was not under the influence of any alcohol or drugs at the time of his death.

Paige’s heartbroken mum Cherie Rangeley, Mr Bolton’s former partner, paid tribute to her “sensitive but stubborn” little girl in the days after her death.

She was speaking for the first time about her “very shy” little girl who was due to celebrate her 11th birthday on February 20 – a date already marred by sadness for the family.

Paige’s twin brother, Ethan, died in 2000, just before he turned six months old, as a result of a congenital heart defect.

The inquest heard on Thursday from Mr Bolton’s sister Tracey, who said her brother had never got over his son’s death.

“The happiest I saw him was when he was holding his twins and smiling,” she said.

“He was a loving and devoted father to Paige who he absolutely adored and he always put her first.

“He was thoughtful and caring. He was a gentle giant with a passive nature. He cared for his family but never really got over the death of Ethan.”

A neighbour said in harrowing evidence: “I thought it was something in my house so I checked the loft which was densely filled with smoke it there was no fire.

“I realised at that point it wasn’t coming from my house but next door. I ran out the front door and saw the smoke coming out of Garry’s front bedroom. I then called 999.

“I was banging on the door and shouting. I shouted their names through the letter box but there was no response.

“I went round the back and another neighbour tried the back door but it was locked. There was now dark smoke billowing.

“I didn’t hear then shouting or screaming. There was nothing.”

The inquest started on Thursday at the Coroner’s Court in Hull and is expected to last longer than a day.

There will be no jury, with senior coroner Michael Mellun presiding over the inquest.

He will deliver his conclusion once all the evidence has been heard.