20/12/2011 East Midlands Today


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Good evening. Our top story tonight: Are the safety lapses at a


house where four children died in a fire.


An inquest hears there was no garden front of an open fire, and


no working smoke detector us. Also tonight: A couple's lucky


escape after a gas blast rips through their home.


Plus, no compensation for Reigate hit businesses because the riots


were not riots. And the decorations that have stood


Good evening. Welcome. An inquest was opened into the death of four


small children and a house fire. The children's mother Rachel Henson


was the only survivor of the blaze at Hulland Ward in Derbyshire.


Today the court heard there were two types of smoke alarms in a


house, but none were working. There was no garden front of an open fire.


-- no guard. Tommy was nine, Alisha 6, Apollonia


two, and drop goal was for. -- Rocco was four. All of them died.


Today, Rachel, the mother, arrived at court with her partner. A fire


investigation officer said it was an extreme blaze, with high


temperatures and zero visibility. He said there was a battery


operated smoke alarm in the hallway that was not working, and a hard-


wired system, but none of the censors have been fitted. Chris


Smith also said they contained a lot of -- the locks on the fire


contained moisture, which was the likely cause of the blaze, as they


spit out embers. Rachel's partner was asked if he was concerned there


was no fire guard, and he said it was not a top priority, and he did


not believe it was a life-or-death matter.


What can you tell us about the cause of the fire? As well as the


fire officer you heard mentioned, the inquest heard from a chimney


Engineer today. Matthew Ramsden said moisture tests carried out on


the wood used at the family home showed it was well over the normal


moisture levels, and he said that wet wood jumps out of the fire. He


said if there was a fire guard, it could have prevented the blaze.


Who else was speaking today? also heard from neighbours, and


their next door neighbour said she heard screaming. She went outside


and saw Rachel sitting on the pavement. She said she shook her,


and asked where the children were. Other neighbours tried to get into


the house. We heard that they got a ladder and tried to break a


bathroom window, but it was just too hot. One of them described that


the downstairs of the house was a big fireball. What about the mother,


will she be giving evidence? was in the court today, but she did


not give evidence. She left in tears as the post-mortem reports


were read out. She will be giving evidence tomorrow morning. In


conclusion, the coroner said he wanted to mention the quality of


citizenship of the community of the people of Hulland Ward. He said


neighbours pick their own lives at risk, and I should not go one


noticed. Thank you.


-- they picked their own lives at risk and it should not go unnoticed.


Were due shopper drunk driver? Would a �1,000 reward make your


decision easier? Police are hoping the fear of not


knowing who would phone-in against them will prevent drunk-driving.


This Christmas card as from this man's cousin Margaret, the only


survivor of a road crash that left her parents and sister dead. The


car was hit by a drunk driver that spun out of control.


Seeing their coffins, it hit me as to what an awful waste of talented


lives this was, through a responsibility. Along with


Darbyshire Road Safety Partnership, the police are backing the campaign


to encourage people to shop those they suspect to be drink-driving.


Their reward could be �1,000 a deadly still can diction. Drink-


drivers should be under no illusion that people will phone us, whether


it is for moral reasons or a cash reward, it is a big incentives.


In Long Eaton, the idea was supported. I think you should shop


them anyway. It doesn't matter about the money for. It is a good


incentive. It should reduce deaths on the road. It is too risky,


especially around here, because everyone knows everyone. Recorder


no reward, it should not make a difference. -- reward or no reward.


We are should get this message across.


The idolising cannot be done randomly, there has to be a valid


reason. It is hoped that the incentive will encourage this.


A Christmas visitation that we are all keen to have -- keen to avoid.


It is winter flu season, but lots of people eligible for the


vaccination had no a habit. And if you're taking your bicycle


to work tomorrow, the good news is Before all that, a lucky escape for


a couple whose house was destroyed in a gas explosion.


They were in the house, in Bilborough, in Nottingham, at the


time of the blast. Nearby properties had to be evacuated, too.


It was allowed bang that brought residents out onto the street at


1130 p -- 11:30am this morning. This is what they saw. Burnt out


windows and the inside destroyed. The two people living here were


home at the time, but managed to escape before the fire service


arrived. It was a big shock to see


everything, all these firemen and police cars. Have you been told


anything? No, the only thing I know, I asked about the people who live


there, they said they were all right. You buy houses had to be


evacuated. Neighbours said they were terrified when they heard the


noise. I thought my conservatory had caved in, are something. But I


saw it was all right, I saw someone on the street, and saw fire. Most


of the afternoon was spent cutting the supply of to the property,


making sure the area was safe. It is now up to the fire investigators


to find out why it happened. In other news: A Nottingham women


who, along with others, claims to have had a relationship with the


undercover officer Mark Kennedy, is suing the Metropolitan Police for


emotional trauma. Marc Kennedy infiltrated a group of climate


change protesters who planned to target their Ratcliffe on Soar per


station. -- power-station. Fares and East Midlands Trains are


to rise by 5.7%, above the current rate of inflation, but lower than


the national rise of 5.9%. East Midlands Trains says it is freezing


the cost of parking at a several stations in the region.


Businesses in Leicester and Nottingham, which suffered damage


during the stuff -- the summer's disturbances, have been told they


will not receive compensation under the riot act.


The decision affects dozens of businesses, and means they will not


be entitled to claim damages above and beyond what their insurers will


Not much Christmas cheer for businesses in Leicester. The ones


affected by the disturbances particularly. In August, damaged


windows cost �800 to appear in this restaurant. But Leicestershire


Police authority has decided they are not eligible for compensation


under the right attack. Absolutely furious. -- the Riot Act.


We're going to be out of pocket, and it is something should not have


happened, and hopefully will not happen again. And the businessmen


his -- are left to pick up the pieces. This has come to the small


business is picking up the pieces. Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire


police authorities have decided the disorder did not meet the lawful


definition of a riot. There needed to be more consistent numbers than


12 people at each incident. And they need to be supporting each


other, in terms of a common name for looting from shops, and they


clearly were not. We were promised compensation, which we have not. It


has cost me �1,000 and repair damage, and that is 20 hours a fire


was on the minimum wage. Claims by business is not insured will now be


separately considered by the National claims Bureau. The rest


will have to pay any insurance excess and face the prospect of


higher premiums next year. One of the stories that has


dominated the news has been the failure of the Derby train maker


Bombardier to win the major order. This failure has placed doubts over


its survival in the city. Some staff belong to a group which is


little or no redundancy. The public are being asked to contribute to a


Andrew has been forced to find his own window of opportunity. A former


builder, he has been doing odd jobs to keep money coming in after he


was laid off by Bombardier last month. He just had a few minutes'


notice. Piggott told 10 minutes prior to leaving the site. There


were a lot of people with long faces the stock that must have been


terrible. It was terrible. Andrew was one of 600 Agency staff to


leave Bombardier in recent weeks. As they were on short-term


contracts, they are not entitled to redundancy money. Now the Unite


union is asking for people to contribute to a larger fund. There


are no jobs, no redundancy pay, and we wondered how we could help.


Other hardship funds have been set up in the past, in the West


Midlands, so we thought we would do this to help. Do you think you will


make an application to the fund? will make an application to them.


When you have got bills piling up, it might just help us out. A lot of


people are worse off than I am. Lot of people have not got a trade.


Andrew knows he will need full-time work decidua his long-term


People coming into the middle of Nottingham to worship on Christmas


Day will not have to pay to park. Four weeks ago the city council


brought in charges to park in the streets on Sundays. It was a


controversial move that upset shoppers and worshippers. Christmas


Day falls on a Sunday, but the council tells us charges will be


suspended because enforcement staff will not be working for.


School pupils in Leicestershire could be taking a subsidised train


to classes instead of a Boston. There was whose children have -- a


attend a high school have been complaining about the bus services.


Children having to spend a week before Christmas in hospital were


given a festive treat today. The charity Starlight put on a panto


for the children. More than 100 children are receiving treatment


there. Today many got the chance to get into the spirit of Christmas,


and see a special performance of It was so funny. I like jasmine and


Aladdin and I like them when they dance. Princess Jasmine, she looked


NHS bosses are warning people not to forget their flu jab, saying the


worst of the winter may still be to come. This year take up rates have


been as strong among the over 65s but many younger people still have


not had their injection. Health correspondent Rob Sissons reports


from Nottinghamshire where public health experts are now based.


It is almost here, but the weather is not that seasonal. It has been a


mild winter and one reason why some people have not been thinking about


the seasonal flu vaccine. Last year, all that snow we had in the big


freeze, the coldest December for over 100 years, there was a lot


more flu around then and more people in hospital, some fighting


for their lives with swine flu. Take up rates, they are not much


down on last year but they could be better. The over 65s 70 % have


taken up the offer of the flu jab. Younger people with underlying


health problems, diabetes and heart disease, the figure is 46 %.


Worryingly, there are only 25 % of pregnant women who have taken up


the offer of the vaccine. Dr Chris Kenny is the Director of Public


Health for the County. Pregnant women not taking up this offer,


that must worry you? We know some pregnant women who developed


influenza can have a serious condition. Why are some saying no?


It is hard to say. The we saw a pre-Christmas rush for jabs last


year, particularly some pregnant women fighting for their lives.


That is true and when we had the swine flu it was some of -- of this


some pregnant women got the disease more aggressively than others.


is not too late for people to have a jab if they are entitled to one.


Exactly. In the new year, we may get more cases of flu in the


community. Can we dream of a white Christmas? Later, Sally will be


along with the forecast and hints of what it will be like for the


Christmas weekend. A thoroughly modern tale but with


echoes of the Christmas story. It maybe 2011 but there is still no


room at the inn. The inn in question is a former hotel called


the Carpenter's Arms. It provides food for homeless people and people


on low income to, but demand for food parcels has rocketed in the


downturn and space is limited Senna Roger Clarke comes to the


Carpenter's Arms to get his book parcels. He is on benefits and has


applied for 150 jobs in the past 10 months. The former Potter says for


castles have helped make life more easy. They food I get twice a week


is really important because it puts a meal on my table. I can have a


proper diet to a certain degree and it is a big help. All the food is


donated. Three years ago, the charity Help to around 12 people


per week now that is up to 160. 12 residents stayed in the old


building and can benefit from a drug rehab programme. But it's the


food parcels side that these duties the an expansion next year when


applications for funding are successful. We can have a separate


area where people can pick up clothing and we will have a coffee


bar, laundry and showers for homeless people. On the first-floor


we are hoping to have a small conference room where people can


have meetings. Roger's story has taken a turn for the better. After


all those applications, he is working as a volunteer at this


charity shop. It is not paid so he will continue to carve -- rely on


the food parcels. E it will give me some experience and get me active


again and hopefully after six months, something will turn up.


Perhaps Roger's next job could be in retail.


Still to come: the ancient Christmas decorations that have


lost none of their sparkle. Stay tuned for a glittering gallery of


antique adornments. Your much-loved decorations of Christmases past.


You should be a town crier. Talking of vintage things, time for the


sport. It is that time of year,


footballers have been visiting hospitals today. It is a busy time


but they take time out of their Schedule now to cheer up those who


are less fortunate. Every year the players of Leicester


City come here. They have come here to ward 27, the Children's Oncology


ward. Today it is the foxes and they have brought gifts.


elephant! Some books also. It was exciting and she got a lot of


presents from the footballers. Coming out of intensive care just


think of everything you worry about, it is kind of meaningless when you


see those things. The his name is Tom P! Matthew is just five, at


back of goodies from the football team is lovely. The players have


been superb and the children have been so excited. Christmas is a


hard time for children in hospital and when the players come in, it


makes everybody smile. Just up the road, Derby County's players were


doing their bit. Giving up our time to make sure we visit, is a nice


gesture for everybody. Trinity is nice to come and show your face and


make a few kids smile. In Leicester it was an emotional return for the


fox's captain who was born here. Five I spent six months in


intensive care when I was first born. The doctors at one stage told


my mum there was a chance of me not making it, so to get the operation


I needed and to pull through, I cannot thank people enough.


The Leicester Tigers England international Dan Cole says he is


hoping to sign a new contract with the club this week. Cole broke into


the side in 2010 and he says he is disappointed with the way this year


has gone. It has been up and down. Leicester reached Premiership final


and lost. You want to when. 31 at six nations but did not win the


Grand Slam. It has ben disappointing, but at the same time.


In ice hockey, Nottingham Panthers have a hectic Christmas. They are


home tonight and face five games between now and 29th December.


The promoters of the Canadian box at Lucian Bute have confirmed they


are keen on a fight deal with Carl Froch and not in a Boris said they


are open to the idea of the home about being held at the city Ground.


After being out in Atlantic City supporting Carl Froch, Nottingham


jockey Hayley Turner was back in the saddle. The country's top woman


sidled -- rider has been out for four months with a broken line


calls. -- ankle. A couple of weeks ago we showed you


this. It is not just a Christmas fairy, it is and 80-year-old


Christmas fairy shared with us by Wendy Sheldon. When the's picture


inspired us to ask you to share with us your ageing but much loved


Christmas decorations. You have done us proud. Lots of pictures


sent in and Peter Snow has been going through them all.


It has been in the same family since the 1930s, with the complete


cent of original decorations, glass baubles and candles, it is a tree


that has seen more than 80 Christmases. The it was my


grandmothers serve I could guess you can add 75 years to the age of


the tree. It enabled people on lower income has to buy a tree when


the real ones were so expensive and not as plentiful. The tree used to


fold away for safekeeping. These days it is too delicate. It is


small enough that I can put a plastic bag over it and poppet in a


cupboard. I do not know why you keep these things but... Margaret


is not alone. He is a selection of I do not think my grand mother when


they first bought this that her granddaughter would show this to


the nation. She would be tickled pink. The hang onto your baubles.


I have for some time. I have my grand mother's baubles.


No shortage of sparkle with the weather.


My mum put a clothes pegs Santa on the Christmas tree that I made when


I was in infant school. Weather wise we are getting some milder


temperatures as we go through the couple of days which is good news


couple of days which is good news because it has been cold over the


past few days. Thing is getting much milder which is great. This is


Monty the cat who likes climbing up the tree at Ruth's out in


Derbyshire. Thank you for your pictures. If we take a look we can


see this warmth working its way towards us from the West. Over the


next couple of hours we will see those patchy outbreaks coming in.


Cloud increasing and from that, we are starting to see the first of


those outbreaks of rain. At first patchy but gradually through the


evening that rain turning more persistent. You will need an


umbrella if you are out tonight. Temperatures milder as that rain


spreads in. Temperatures dipping to four or five Celsius. Milder


through the course of tomorrow. That rain clearing in most places


by the middle of the morning. Cloudy skies for the rest of


Wednesday but generally dry. Temperatures in double figures, 12


Celsius the maximum. Staying mild as we move into Thursday. A dry


picture again, in double figures stealth but cloudy skies. On Friday,


a cold front pushes it through with rain during the day. Colder


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