The aunt of four children who were burned alive by thugs in their own home has told of how her nephew had a chilling premonition about the blaze which he died in.
Demi Pearson, 15, Brandon, eight, Lacie, seven, and Lia, three, all died in Jackson Street, Walkden, Greater Manchester when their home was attacked by thugs.
Mother-of-six Michelle Pearson, 36, suffered 75 per cent burns to her body when she attempted to save her children while two managed to escape.
The family had been subjected to a campaign of harassment and abuse by friends of one of Michelle’s sons who the mother had tried to help.
However, her kindness was turned around on her and her home was targeted, including her windows being smashed. The family’s torment ended in the fatal arson attack in December 2017.
In the weeks before the fire, one of the children was so scared he dreamed he would die, his aunt revealed today.
One evening, Brandon began screaming, believing he was being burned alive, his aunt said during an interview on the Jeremy Kyle show.
Weeks later his chilling premonition came true.
Sarah, Michelle’s sister, said: ‘Brandon used to say, ‘are we going to die?
‘He woke up one night and said ‘mum I’m dying, I’m on fire’ when he was asleep.
‘She told him he was dreaming and nobody would ever hurt him as long as she is alive.’
Emergency services were called to the family’s mid-terraced home in Walkden shortly after 5am on December 11.
Firefighters battled against the flames, but were unable to rescue siblings Demi, Brandon and Lacie. Lia was taken to hospital but died a few days later.
Two other teenagers, Michelle’s elder children, managed to escape from the property during the fire.
Michelle’s mother Sandra said: ‘My daughter phoned me up on Sunday about 11pm at night and she said night I’ll phone you tomorrow morning when I come back from school.
‘Then nothing. One of the neighbours came knocking on my door saying I think this is your daughter’s house on fire. It was all over social media.
‘We got told everybody had been taken out. I went to my daughter Sarah’s and the police were there. A phone call came through and said there were three fatalities.
‘The fire brigade said it went up in so many seconds there was no chance of them getting out.’
Michelle was placed in a coma after suffering 75 per cent burns to her body after trying to save her children.
Sister Sarah said: ‘They said she has a severe infection which could finish her. We don’t know if she’s strong enough.’
Today, their grandmother Sandra revealed how her daughter was told after five months her four children had died.
‘It had to come from me or the nurses and she asked about the kids – she said ‘where’s my baby?’
‘She was in denial. She kept asking every day for about six weeks when it sunk in.’
Two surviving children aged sixteen and seventeen are still suffering from the fire.
One of the boys ‘blames himself because he couldn’t get back in to save them,’ his aunt said.
On the evening, neighbours saw Demi, 15, banging on the window as she realised she could not get out. The teenager had just signed up to college and wanted to take her education further.
In May, Zak Bolland, 23, was given four life sentences at Manchester Crown Court and told he must serve a minimum of 40 years for the four murders.
David Worrall, 25, was also given four life sentences and ordered to serve a minimum term of 37 years for the murders.
Courtney Brierley, 20, who was found guilty of four counts of manslaughter over the deaths of the children following the incident on December 11 last year, was locked up for 21 years.
Sarah said: ‘They might be in prison but the kids are not here.
‘All the time was there to help people and at the end nobody was there to help her.’
Jeremy Kyle said Michelle is known locally as a woman who would help anyone.
He said: ‘This was a woman who would go out on a limb for the community – she had six kids of her own but she was known as the mother of the community.’