THIS WEEK IN 1986: Break-in hours after toddler dies in blaze

Police offivers outside the house at Landport where one child was killed and another seriously injured in a fire
Police offivers outside the house at Landport where one child was killed and another seriously injured in a fire

THIS WEEK IN 1996: Police send pubs pictures of thugs

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Thieves ransacked the home of grieving Portsmouth mother Mandy Shirreefs just hours after her three-year-old son died in a blaze.

Between the tragic fire that broke out in the morning, and that afternoon, thieves smashed into Mrs Shirreef’s home and stole a television, a record player, and other furniture.

Lee Shirreef and his sister Tina were asleep in the same downstairs room when the fire broke out.

Tina was taken to the special burns unit at Odstock Hospital, Sailsbury, where her condition was described as ‘critical’.

A Hampshire fire spokesman said the fire was believed to have been started by one of the children playing with matches.

A friend of Mrs Shirreef, Andrew Morey, and a lodger battled desperately to save the children.

Only five-year-old Tina was brought out alive.

Firemen got the blaze under control in minutes, only to discover the boy’s body.

Firemen arrived to find 22-year-old Mrs Shirreef screaming on the doorstep of the house in Garnier Street, Landport, which had been blocked off by police.