6-year-old boy is burned alive in his sleep after lampshade near bed catches fire
Riley Jake Jackson died last October after his room caught fire due to a halogen bulb which overheated
An inquest into the death of a six-year-old boy, who was tragically burned alive after the heat from a halogen bulb in his room caused a lampshade to catch fire and fall onto his bed, has heard how his mother desperately tried to save him.
According to Derbyshire Live, Riley Jake Jackson was rushed to the hospital after he was rescued from his house in Ilkeston, Derbyshire, last October, but his injuries ultimately proved to be too grievous and fatal.
Cheryl Bradley told the inquest at Derby and Derbyshire Coroner's Court about the fear she felt when she first heard the alarm sounding from the landing upstairs on October 26, and how she and her nine-year-old daughter, Grace, went upstairs to investigate its origin.
She described how, when she approached the bedroom door, she could see smoke billowing out from underneath and "feel the heat of the flames," and that despite her best efforts, she could not budge the door open.
Not knowing what to do, she said she and Grace evacuated the home and went on to the street in front of their house in a bid to find help. A neighbor then tried, unsuccessfully, to open the bedroom door before Derbyshire Fire and Rescue officers eventually managed to reach him after arriving at the residence at 10:44 pm.
By the time they had arrived, the bottom of the door had already burned through, making it relatively easier to break into the room. They found Riley on top of his bed, with evidence suggesting that the six-year-old had not been aware of the fire and that he had been overcome by the carbon monoxide build up in the room.
The inquest heard the fire which killed him was started by a hot halogen bulb which had been smoldering away for around 20 to 30 minutes in the bedside lamp coming into contact with a "combustible material".
Senior Coroner Dr. Robert Hunter assured Bradley that her son would not have felt any pain from the burns he suffered as he was already unconscious due to breathing in the smoke from the flames.
He said Riley's death could only be described as a "tragic accident" and told the family, "I hope the inquest has given you a sense of closure. Riley's death could not have been predicted or foreseen."
He also added that he would be writing to the secretary of state about the overall safety of halogen bulbs because of their propensity to reach temperatures of 200 degrees, which can ignite any combustible material — such as the lampshade near Riley's bed — and also burn anyone who tries to touch it.
Bradley paid tribute to her son at the court and said, "He was a very happy little boy who loved life. He was very high-spirited, a joy to be around. He was a huge character. He had a thirst for knowledge, he wanted to learn something new every day."