Salford house fire family had been living under threat and security was increased before devastating attack
The family of Michelle Pearson had been living under threat before the devastating attack. Demi Pearson, 14, Brandon, eight, and sister Lacie, seven, died after a blaze broke out on Jackson Street in Walkden at 5am on Monday morning. Five people have since been arrested in connection with the fire, and police have launched a murder investigation.
The M.E.N . has learned that security had been stepped up at the mid-terrace property. Sources confirmed to the M.E.N . that the house had been target hardened to protect the family living there from attack. Measures included the fitting of an increased security device on the letterbox.
Police confirmed that the force had very recent physical contact with the family – understood to be within 24 hours of the devastating attack.
The Manchester Evening News understands that police had been called there to a reported incident at the house at around 2am, around three hours before the blaze took hold. As well as the possibility that a flammable liquid was poured through the home s letterbox, there have also been reports that the perpetrator used scaffolding to launch the attack, although there has been been no confirmation of this by Greater Manchester Police. Chief Supt Wayne Miller confirmed at a press conference held at Swinton police station that there had been earlier incidents at the address, but refused to elaborate further or confirm the nature of the call.
As a result of the prior police contact GMP has voluntarily referred itself to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) in line with procedure.
The police chief said: There have been earlier incidents at the address and consequently a referral to the IPCC has been made. Asked whether the tragedy is being linked to organised crime, Chief Supt Miller said the force was keeping an open mind and did not comment further. He added: This is a fast moving live investigation and we have a major investigation team with scores of dedicated detectives working tirelessly.
The devastated older brother of the three young children who were killed has spoken of the moment he tried desperately to save them. Speaking about the horrific incident, Kyle Pearson told the M.E.N: I fell asleep and the next thing I knew was I could hear my mum screaming, Fire! . There was lots of smoke so I climbed out of an upstairs window.
I ve gone to get back in but a cloud of smoke hit me in the face.”
I can t get my head around it . It s disgraceful.
I tried to break the front door down and smashed a window, but I couldn t get in because of the flames and the smoke.”
Timeline of events
Monday, December 11
Police were originally called to the house following an incident, around three hours before the fire service were alerted to the blaze.
Firefighters raced to the family s mid-terrace home on Jackson Street in Walkden, Salford, after reports of a large fire.
Early reports from the fire service said that six people were taken to hospital . The street was closed off and transport bosses warned people to avoid the area.
Investigations into the blaze continued . Firefighters remained at the scene to monitor the house for any remaining hotspots.
Neighbours told the M.E.N . of their shock at what had happened . One local resident said she heard screaming and banging during the night, initially thinking it was an argument . She described the street as being quite loud .
Police confirmed three children died in the fire and a three-year-old girl remained in hospital in a critical condition. They also said the fire was being treated as suspicious . Officers revealed a girl, 14, a boy, eight, and a girl, seven, all passed away after the blaze broke out . The 35-year-old mother of all the children was in a serious condition in hospital, they said.
(Image: MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS)
During a press conference at Swinton police station, detectives confirmed they had launched a murder investigation and urged a suspect to give himself up . At the briefing, Chief Superintendent Wayne Miller told reporters that seven people were in the house at the time of the fire.
He added there was an active manhunt for a suspect.
The first victim of the fire was named as 14-year-old Demi Pearson, a pupil at Educating Greater Manchester school Harrop Fold.
GMP said they had arrested a man, 23, and a woman, 20, in connection with the fire . Both were held on suspicion of murder and taken into custody for questioning.
(Image: Manchester Evening News)
Two more victims of the fire were named – Demi s younger brother Brandon, eight, and his sister Lacie, seven . Their older brother Kyle Pearson, who escaped the burning property, paid tribute to his siblings.
Police confirmed three further arrests . Two young men, aged 18 and 20, were held on suspicion of murder . A 24-year-old man was also detained on suspicion of assisting and offender, a GMP spokesman said .
Five people have now been arrested in connection with the fatal fire.
Anyone with any information should contact police on 0161 856 8797, alternatively call 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
A day after scandal-plagued Uber admitted it covered up for a year a data breach affecting 57 million and fired its chief security officer security questions abound. Among the regulators who have opened investigations or are poking around: officials in Britain, Italy, Holland, Australia and the Philippines, according to various reports. An Uber spokesperson told Reuters1 the company has been in touch with several state Attorney General Offices . The New York State AG has reportedly opened an investigation . And U.S .
lawmakers are urging the Federal Trade Commission to investigate. Uber s failure to disclose the breach was probably illegal in U.S . states that have data-breach laws (most of them), although the notification requirements vary, the Wall Street Journal2 points out.
Can Uber be trusted ? After all, the San Francisco company paid the hackers $100,000 to delete the data including personal information about drivers and passengers they accessed, and to keep quiet about the breach, according to Bloomberg4 . Uber just disclosed what happened Tuesday, a year after the hack occurred.
That s a million-dollar question, said Jeff Nolan, chief marketing officer of Irvine-based enterprise security firm SecureAuth, in a phone interview Wednesday . He noted that there have been so many data breaches that consumers seem to have become immune to them or maybe they don t care.
But this is not Uber s first security-related misstep . In fact, Bloomberg reports that at the time of the big hack, late 2016, the company was in talks with U.S . regulators about a separate instance of privacy violations . In August, Uber settled with the FTC5 over God view, a controversial program the company used to track riders locations, and a 2014 data breach . Under the settlement, Uber s privacy practices must be reviewed by an outside auditor every two years for 20 years. However, Nolan said the reaction by Uber s new CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, is good crisis communication : He demanded CSO Joe Sullivan s resignation and fired an aide to Sullivan, Tony West, according to reports.
As Uber s CEO, it s my job to set our course for the future, which begins with building a company that every Uber employee, partner and customer can be proud of, Khosrowshahi said in a blog post6 Tuesday .
For that to happen, we have to be honest and transparent as we work to repair our past mistakes. He said the company is notifying the affected drivers, whose names and driver s license information were compromised, and regulators . He also said he has brought in Matt Olsen, former director of the National Counterterrorism Center under President Obama and general counsel for the National Security Agency, to help think through the company s future security processes. Khosrowshahi said in the blog post that he recently found out about the cover-up but did not specify when . When reached by SiliconBeat Wednesday, an Uber spokeswoman said the company had no additional comment beyond the CEO s blog post.
The company s latest scandal comes as it tries to secure an investment from SoftBank, the Japanese conglomerate that s said to considering buying a stake in Uber worth up to $10 billion . The company is also still dealing with the aftermath of complaints about sexual harassment and a sexist workplace culture, which were factors that led to the departure of CEO and co-founder Travis Kalanick . He remains on the company s board of directors .
Khosrowshahi became chief executive at the end of August.
Photo: Outside Uber offices on Market Street in San Francisco in 2014. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)
Updated: Sep 26, 2017 – 10:18 AM
SOUTHBRIDGE, Mass. – Months after a nurse was attacked by a patient inside a local hospital, the facility is now taking steps to make sure it never happens again.
Under a new security policy at Harrington Hospital, each patient in the facility will only be allowed two visitors at a time . Security guards will search all bags brought in by visitors, and anyone heading into the Southbridge hospital s emergency room will have to pass through one of two new metal detectors.
The hospital is also adding cameras and panic buttons around the building. The changes come after emergency room nurse Elise Wilson was stabbed by a patient in June.
She required eight hours of surgery and became an advocate for security for hospital workers. Wilson s alleged attacker reportedly snuck a knife into the emergency room at Harrington Hospital.
After checking himself in, police said he stabbed Wilson in the face and arm before running away. Hospital officials said nurses will have to go through new training on how to deal with aggressive behavior.
They said that training, along with new technology, will help them keep incidents like the stabbing from happening again.
2017 Cox Media Group.
- ^ Suspect arrested after allegedly stabbing ER nurse in Southbridge (www.fox25boston.com)
- ^ Stabbing suspect held without bail as ER nurse fights for her life (www.fox25boston.com)