England

4 siblings die after family friend sets fire to wardrobe

January 7, 2012
Freckleton, Lancashire, England
Dyson Allen sets fire to a wardrobe, killing 4 children between 2 and 4 as well as their 19-year-old brother

The day of the fire, the victims’ mother was having a birthday party. Allen had visited with the family before, even staying the night directly before the arson. During trial, Allen claimed he was “out of [his] head on a lethal combination of alcohol and cannabis” and had a “fascination with fire” as the reason he set fire to a wardrobe in the bedroom 3 of the victims — twins Holly and Ella Smith (4) and Jordan Smith (2) — shared. 19-year-old Reece Smith also died while attempting to save his siblings. All victims died from smoke inhalation.

Allen was convicted of manslaughter and given a life sentence.

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