Tragic blaze claims third victim as 12-year-old loses fight for life

A YOUNGSTER left fighting for his life following an arson attack which killed his father and younger brother has died.

Tributes have been paid to “talented musician” Jack Sykes yesterday after South Yorkshire Police confirmed he passed away in hospital almost a week after the blaze.

The 12-year-old was rescued from the burning house in the village of Penistone, Barnsley last Wednesday.

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His nine-year-old brother Paul and father Darren, aged 44, died the same evening.

Detectives have since confirmed that the fire was started deliberately, but are not looking for anyone else in connection with their investigation.

It is understood the boys’ mother was keeping a bedside vigil at Jack’s side until he lost his battle for life.

His headteacher at Penistone Grammar School led tributes to the schoolboy.

Principal Jo Higgins said: “This is an extremely sad time.

“Jack was greatly thought of, a talented musician and a highly valued member of our school community. Our thoughts are with Jack’s family and friends at this very difficult time.”

She said the students and staff will gather on Monday following the half-term break to remember Jack.

Last week Paul, who was a pupil at Springvale Primary School, was remembered by his headteacher Andy Platt as an “outgoing, popular boy who was blossoming into a fine runner and cornet player”.

The three family members were found by firefighters on the first floor of their semi-detached house.

South Yorkshire Police said: “A 12-year-old boy left critically ill following a house fire in Penistone has died as a result of his injuries.

“Jack Sykes, was taken to hospital in a critical condition but lost his fight for life last night (Monday).

“Detectives investigating the fire have confirmed it was started deliberately and that an accelerant was used.

“Police are not looking for anyone else in connection with the incident.

“The investigation continues on behalf of the coroner.”