Questions still unanswered over teen's tragic death

Louis Simpson
Louis Simpson

The grieving family of a schoolboy will mark the first anniversary of his death today with many questions about its circumstances still unanswered.

Louis Simpson died in a barn fire on farmland in Parbold on January 29 2017, prompting the launch of a major police investigation.

Flowers for Louis near to the scene of the tragedy

Flowers for Louis near to the scene of the tragedy

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A pre-inquest review into the tragedy was only held at Preston Coroner’s Court in December following 11 months of inquiries.

And the hearing was then adjourned to a date yet to be set because there are further reports to be prepared.

The 14-year-old was reported missing after playing with several young friends on the land at Fairhurst Farm, off Chorley Road, when the outbuilding caught fire.

With firefighters at first unable to get into the barn because of the heat and other dangers, they were at first uncertain of his whereabouts and it had been hoped that the youngster had somehow got away.

As a result, a major search was launched, including a public appeal for help.

But his remains were recovered from inside the building the following evening.

His parents issued a statement saying: “We are all truly devastated, but want to thank our amazing family and friends for their on-going love and support.”

A huge shrine built up on Chorley Road as mourners paid personal tribute. Among the flowers was a signed souvenir European Champions League 2005 T-shirt from the family of Liverpool FC legend Jamie Carragher who are friends of Louis’s own family.

And last summer’s annual Parbold Show and Sunshine Sunday festival saw a junior football tournament named after Louis and his brother Isaac and sisters Sophia and India plant a tree in his memory.