A 10-year-old who died after a house fire allegedly started by her father has been pictured for the first time.
Paige Bolton died in hospital after the house blaze in Cottingham, Hull on Saturday morning.
Her single father Garry, who died at the scene, is believed to have barricaded himself and Paige in a bedroom before starting the blaze, a heartbroken friend has claimed.
Garry is believed to have sent a string of ‘strange’ text messages to a friend in recent weeks.
Emergency services were called to Wensley Avenue, Cottingham, Hull at around 7.50am on Saturday after a neighbour reported a house fire.
Now a friend, who was laying flowers at the scene this morning, revealed that Garry had been ‘struggling’ in recent weeks.
Paige Bolton, 10, who died in hospital after her father Garry allegedly barricaded them into a bedroom and set their home ablaze
Tragic schoolgirl Paige with her mother Cherie. Neighbours say her father deliberately started the blaze
Garry is believed to have sent a string of ‘strange’ text messages to a friend in recent weeks and was ‘struggling’
Garry Bolton and his ten-year-old daughter Paige died in a house fire in Hull (pictured, the scene on Saturday)
Tributes left at the scene of the fire at a house in Hull where the father died. The daughter later died in hospital
He said that Paige was a twin born prematurely and her twin brother died due to complications at birth.
He said: ‘Paige was a twin and they lost the other twin at birth. They were born prematurely.
‘I think he had been struggling with mental health issues, he had sent my dad some strange texts recently.
‘They were really close and used to work together.
‘My dad rang him up and he said he was fed up and then this has happened.
‘He’s barricaded himself in and set fire to the house with his daughter.’
Neighbours say the father quit his job a few years ago to concentrate on being a single parent.
Heartbroken neighbours have told of their shock at the death of the ‘devoted single father’ and his daughter.
The fire brigade battled the blaze on Wensley Avenue in Hull (pictured) at around 8am yestreday
Fire officers pulled them both from the house, but were unable to save the man who died at the scene (pictured)
The fire is believed to have been started in a bedroom and neighbours said they saw smoke coming from a top floor window.
Carl Goodfellow, 60, was one of the first on the scene to try to rescue the stricken pair.
He said: ‘It’s just a tragic event.
‘He was devoted to his daughter, we’d see him taking her to school every day and we’d say hello but that was it really.
‘I heard shouting this morning and saw smoke coming from the upstairs window.
‘I tried to break the door down but it was too strong.
‘I was banging on the door and shouting to get their attention, but it was to no avail sadly.
‘My heart just goes out to the immediate family who have to deal with this tragic incident.
‘The whole street is in shock, it’s a quiet, close-knit community and you just don’t expect something like this to happen.’
The ten-year-old girl died later at hospital. Pictured: Forensics officers at the scene of the fire
A nearby resident, who did not want to be named, said: ‘It just makes it a double tragedy.
‘Everybody on this street knows each other, at least to speak to.
‘His wife was so overjoyed they were expecting babies and it really affected her when she lost her son.
‘They felt really lucky that the daughter had pulled through, but to lose her in these circumstances just makes it doubly heartbreaking.
‘I was woken up this morning lots of banging and shouting.
‘I saw them pull the little girl out and lay her on a green sheet trying to do CPR.
‘I kept thinking please god let that poor little girl live.
‘I’m just numb, I’m in a real state of shock.’
Next door neighbours climbed over a six foot fence to try to alert the man and his daughter to the fire.
Flowers and what appears to be a toy rabbit were left at the scene of the tragedy on Saturday
One neighbour, who did not want to be named, said the man who died in the fire was a ‘devoted single father’ who had quit work to be a full-time dad after his marriage broke up.
He said: ‘I heard shouting and banging this morning so went to have a look.
‘I climbed over the fence that separates our gardens and tried banging on the door as loud as I could.
The fire brigade pulled both the man and the girl from the house, but were unable to save the man who died at the scene. Pictured: Police at the scene
The ten-year-old girl died later at hospital. Pictured: Police at the scene
‘The Fire Brigade turned up within minutes and took over, but they couldn’t get them out in time sadly.
‘We would say hello in the street and we’d swap Christmas cards, but that was it.
‘He kept himself to himself, he was never any trouble.
‘He gave up work to take care of her full-time.
‘He was a hard-working single dad.’
A spokesperson for Humberside Police said: ‘Humberside Fire and Rescue, ambulance and police were called at 7.50am to reports of a fire at a house.
‘Emergency services worked to extinguish the fire and get the occupants out of the building
‘Tragically two people have died in the fire.
‘A man was pronounced dead at the scene and an eight year-old girl, who had been taken to hospital, has sadly died.
‘There will be a scene guard in place today as emergency services continue to work together to establish the cause of the fire.’
Anyone with information is urged to call 101 quoting log 127 25 January 2020.