Schoolgirl, 10, texted gran ‘daddy is scaring me’ before both died in house fire

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A girl who died beside her father in a house fire sent chilling texts asking for help.

Tragic Paige Bolton, 10, told her grandmother she was scared just hours before being found dead in a bath tub in Hull, East Riding, January 25 last year.

After breaking into the family home, firefighters found Garry Bolton and his daughter together lying lifeless.

An inquest held on Thursday heard how Garry who suffered from anxiety, low self-esteem and paranoia, had experienced a nose dive in his mental health.

Humberside Fire and Rescue Service do not know what caused the blaze but believe it was deliberate, HullLive reports.

But texts from Paige that night suggest her dad was acting strangely.

The texts to her grandmother and Garry’s mum Patricia Bolton said: “Daddy is scaring me. Why can’t you help me?”

Mrs Bolton unfortunately didn’t see the messages until the next morning.

Assistant coroner Ian Sprakes also mentioned text messages Garry sent to former partner Cherie Rangeley, which he decided not to read out but said “amounted to a suicide note”.

Independent fire investigator Dr Will Hutchinson said it was a smouldering fire which meant it took a number of hours to develop but would produce lethal carbon monoxide almost immediately, taking effect in a matter of minutes.

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The smoke alarm was also not working.

However, Humberside Fire and Rescue Service station manager Richard Gibson believed the cause was deliberate.

He said: “I believe the ignition was due to an unspecified naked flame.

“As the seat of the fire was in the centre of the bed, it leads me to believe it was deliberate.”

In a statement, Garry’s sister Tracey Bolton said her brother had suffered from bullying throughout school and in the workplace as an adult.

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She said: “Garry was low on confidence and took the bullying to heart. He was a sensitive and shy man. He would not stand up for himself even as a grown man.”

Garry and partner Cherie Rangeley had twins Paige and Ethan in 2000 through IVF treatment.

Sadly, Ethan died of a heart defect aged just six months which devastated Garry and Cherie.

Tracey said in her statement: “The happiest I saw Garry was when he was holding his twins and smiling.”

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Garry claimed he was bullied in his own street and believed children at Paige’s school were teasing her and calling her dad names.

But he started running and undertook parenting classes to try and improve his life. He received counselling and support through various services and got involved in Cat Zero where he achieved some qualifications.

He also volunteered at various organisations, including homeless charity Emmaus.

But, it seems his mental health began to go downhill once more in the months before his and Paige’s deaths.

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Tracey said: “Garry 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.”

Both Garry and Paige died from “products of combustion” in the house fire.

Assistant coroner Ian Sprakes says he will need time to reflect on the evidence and will not rush to any conclusions. He is likely to take a “few weeks” to come to his conclusion.

For emotional support, you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email [email protected], visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website.

  • Family
  • Fire
  • Inquests

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