Boy, 3, killed in caravan fire after distraught dad thought he had saved him but was holding older brother's arm & leg

A THREE-year old boy died in a caravan fire after his distraught dad thought he had saved him, an inquest heard.

Shaun Harvey, 28, believed he had grabbed little Zac's arm along with older brother Harley, four, as he tried to pull them from the burning home.

But after fighting through thick smoke to get to safety, the dad realised he was only holding Harley's arm and leg.

Shaun had been staying in the caravan after becoming estranged from wife Erin – and the boys were staying with him for the night.

An inquest heard the three were warming the touring caravan by using an electric fan heater plugged into an extension lead running from a nearby house on one of the coldest nights of the year.

Dad Shaun told police he believed he had turned the heater off before going to sleep but fire investigators said it was found to be the "likely" cause of the blaze.

Neighbours reported the caravan went up "like a tinder box" and "an inferno" after fire broke out in the early hours of the morning.

The hearing at Aberystwyth Coroner's Court was told Shaun woke to find the caravan "engulfed" in flames – and only had time to pull one son out.

Mum Erin, 29, previously told how the dad – who also suffered burns – believed he had saved both boys from the blaze in Ffair Rhos, near Tregaron, Ceredigion.

She said: "He said he didn't know what had happened. He woke up and everything around him was on fire. He didn't remember much, he just went into pilot mode and went to get the boys.

"Shaun had come out of the caravan, and he was holding Harley's arm and Harley's leg.

"He thought that he was holding both Harley and Zac.

"It wasn't until he was out of the caravan and going into the house carrying Harley that he realised that it wasn’t Zac, it was just Harley."

Harley was airlifted to hospital and suffered 40 per cent burns in the blaze.

He was not expected to survive but has made a positive recovery following the tragedy on 19 January, 2020.

Coroner Peter Brunton gave a conclusion of misadventure.

Mr Brunton gave his condolences to Zac's mother, who was at the inquest, and said he hoped his conclusion would bring some comfort to them.

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