Cambridge house fire: Firefighters reveal ’cause’ of blaze that killed boy, 4, along with his sister, 8, and their mum

According to the fire department, a terrible apartment fire in which a mother and two children died was accidentally triggered by a charged e-bike.

Gemma Germeney, 31, died at the scene in Sackville Close, Cambridge, in the early hours of Friday morning, Cambridgeshire Police said.

Gemma Germeney and her two children died in a house fire on Friday


Gemma Germeney and her two children died in a house fire on Friday
Neighbors reported waking up


Neighbors reported waking up “screaming” as the fire ravaged the building

Eight-year-old Lilly Peden and four-year-old Oliver Peden were taken to hospital, where both later died, police said.

In a statement on Sunday, police said a man in his 30s remains in critical condition in hospital.

On Monday, the Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service said the investigation into the cause of the deadly blaze had been completed.

“It is believed that the fire broke out accidentally and the most likely cause was an e-bike,” said a spokesman.

Area Commander Stuart Smith said: “Firefighters and specialist fire investigators along with forensic police teams and a fire dog spent the weekend conducting a thorough investigation of the duplex.”

“A fire investigation is looking for the most likely cause and in this case we believe it was a charged electric bike.

“We know that e-bikes and e-scooters are popular modes of transportation for individuals right now, and we urge every e-bike owner to be aware of the potential risks and to follow simple precautions to reduce the chance of batteries overheating to reduce.”

“We also know that whatever the cause, devastating incidents like this make people think about fire safety in the home in general. You can find a lot of information on our website. Our fire safety team will be in the Sackville Close area for the next few years to share advice and provide reassurance.

“The service issued advice, urging people not to leave an e-bike or e-scooter battery on overnight and not to charge the battery longer than it takes to fully charge it.”

On Friday at 1:08 a.m., the rescue services were called to the apartments, and more than 30 firefighters were on duty.

When emergency services arrived, they found smoke rising from the ground and first floors of a two-story maisonette.

According to the fire department, the emergency services worked hard to extinguish the fire and prevent it from spreading to neighboring properties.

A man in his 30s managed to flee the home before emergency services arrived, but sustained serious injuries and was taken to hospital in critical condition.

The neighbors paid tribute to the family. A resident named Debbi said: “Gemma loved her children to the last detail, she was a devoted mother and had a heart of gold.”

“We heard her partner Scott was trying to save them all when the fire broke out in the middle of the night.

“He was a hero, but he couldn’t save her. Our thoughts and prayers are with him.”

A second neighbor who witnessed the tragedy said: “I was woken up by what I thought was a car alarm, but it must have been a smoke detector.”

“Smoke was rising everywhere and I could see flames and hear the sound of windows smashing.

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“I didn’t realize how serious it was until I saw some stretchers being rolled out. It was absolutely awful.”

Another witness added that they were awakened by “screaming” before noticing the “mess” that was unfolding.

Facebook pictures show the family celebrating birthdays


Facebook pictures show the family celebrating birthdays
The fire broke out just after 1 a.m. Friday


The fire broke out just after 1 a.m. Friday

Edmuns DeMars

Edmund DeMarche is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Edmund DeMarche joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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