Mum with 'heart of gold' and children, eight and four, killed in fire 'started by charging e-bike'

3 July 2023, 15:53

Scott Peden tried to save his family
Scott Peden tried to save his family. Picture: Facebook

By Emma Soteriou

A mum with a "heart of gold" and her children, eight and four, were killed in fire started by a charging e-bike, the fire service has said.

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Oliver Peden, four, and Lily Peden, eight, died after being taken to hospital following the blaze in Cambridge early on Friday.

Gemma Germeney, 31, who has been described as having a "heart of gold", died in the fire.

Scott Peden, who is in his 30s, was taken to hospital and suffered life-threatening injuries after trying to save his family.

A child at a neighbouring home was also taken to hospital after suffering from smoke inhalation but he is not seriously injured.

On Monday, Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service said its investigation into the cause of the fatal fire had concluded.

"It is believed that the fire started accidentally and the most probable cause was an e-bike," a spokesman said.

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Tributes have been paid to the family after the blaze
Tributes have been paid to the family after the blaze. Picture: Facebook

Area Commander Stuart Smith said: "Fire service and specialist fire investigators, together with police forensic teams and a fire dog, have spent the weekend carrying out a thorough investigation of the maisonette.

"A fire investigation looks for the most probable cause and in this case, we believe that to be an electric bike that was charging.

"We know e-bikes and e-scooters are popular modes of personal transport at the moment and we are urging anyone with one to be aware of the potential risks and follow simple precautions to reduce the likelihood of the batteries overheating.

"We also know that regardless of the cause, devastating incidents like this make people think about fire safety in general at home and as well as having lots of information on our website, our fire safety team will be in the Sackville Close area over the next few days to share advice and offer reassurance."

Following the incident, the fire service issued advice on charging e-bikes and e-scooters, saying people should avoid charging them overnight and not leave them any longer than they need to fully charge.

Scott was injured in the fire
Scott was injured in the fire. Picture: Facebook

One resident told The Sun: "Gemma loved her kids to bits, she was a devoted mum and she had a heart of gold.

"We heard that her partner Scott had tried to rescue them all when the fire broke out in the middle of the night.

"He was a hero, but he couldn't save them. Our thoughts and prayers are with him."

Another neighbour described how he was woken up by alarm when the fire broke out at about 1am.

He said he only realised how serious the blaze was when stretchers were brought out of the home.

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Police, ambulance and air ambulance crews joined firefighters at the scene.

Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service's area commander Stuart Smith said the fire was "a devastating and deeply upsetting incident that will touch many people".

A spokesperson for Cambridgeshire City Council said: "People will be shocked and distressed to hear about this incident in their local community and we are working to provide support to those people who have been directly affected, including the occupants of neighbouring properties.

"Our thoughts are with the victims, their loved ones and all of the people who have been affected."

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