August 25, 2021 8.49 am This story is over 33 months old

Holidaymakers describe caravan “inferno” which claimed toddler’s life

A community joined in sorrow

As investigators continue to search for the cause of a fire which claimed the life of a two-year-old girl in Ingoldmells, holidaymakers and the community are joined in shock and sorrow.

Around 50 people staying in caravans on the Sealands park near Skegness were forced to evacuate on the night of the fire (August 23), and bystanders have described the sudden ferocity of the blaze.

The toddler’s mother and her three other children managed to escape, and have now been discharged from hospital.

Some holidaymakers spoke to reporters, as police and fire investigators combed the charred remains of the holiday home on the 263-plot site.

The caravan walls have been destroyed. | Photo: John Aron for The Lincolnite

“The caravan just went up instantly”, one man told BBC Look North. “It went from being a small glow to being a massive inferno. It went up so fast.”

While the origin of the fire is undetermined, many staying in caravans on the Lincolnshire coast have worried about the safety of the structures. “We’re all on holiday in caravans, and it does make you think how easily an accident can happen,” he added.

A woman who lived nearby to the park also spoke to BBC reporters: “We saw the black smoke and we weren’t sure where it was. Then, all of a sudden, there was a ‘whoosh’ and the flames went up in the air.

“We were scared. We moved our cars in case gas bottles went off.”

People have paid tribute to the child and left heartfelt words of support for her family following the tragedy.

Many have also paid homage to emergency crews who fought the blaze. Specialist welfare support is being offered to firefighters who attended the harrowing incident.

Councillor Stephen Chamberlain from Ingoldmells Parish Council said: “It’s a very tiny community and it vastly expands when we get the caravan season going. The community is going to be very saddened by what’s occurred.

“From the Ingoldmells Parish Council and the residents of Ingoldmells, out heartfelt condolences go out to the family.”