Man arrested after explosion death
Detectives investigating the death of a toddler killed in a massive explosion have arrested a man on suspicion of manslaughter, Greater Manchester Police said.
The man, 32, was taken into custody following Jamie Heaton's death in Shaw, Oldham. A GMP spokesman said: "A 32-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter following the death of a two-year-old boy in an explosion in Oldham."
Jamie, described by his heartbroken family as a "happy loving little boy" and "full of laughter" was killed as he watched TV in the front room of the family's terraced house on Buckley Street.
His mother Michelle survived the carnage after she momentarily stepped into the yard to hang out washing to dry. Her husband Kenny and two other children, Jodie and Jack, were not at home.
In tribute, the little boy's family said: "Jamie's life was full of laughter. "He loved going to pre-school, playing with sand and water and going to the park. He touched the hearts of all who knew him and will be missed by all."
A murder inquiry may be launched by detectives.
The killer blast happened at about 11.15am on Tuesday, and left neighbour Andrew Partington, 27, in a serious condition in hospital with burns. After initial police and fire service investigations Mr Partington faces "significant questions" a senior officer said today.
Police are at his bedside at Wythenshawe Hospital in Manchester waiting to be given the go-ahead by doctors to question him. Steve Heywood, assistant chief constable of Greater Manchester Police (GMP), told a press conference in Shaw: "We have had some information to suggest it may not be accidental so we are treating it as a suspicious death and therefore a homicide investigation is undertaken."
Mr Partington's partner, named locally as Tanya Williamson, had left the house earlier with her five children, leaving Mr Partington home alone at the time of the blast.
The massive explosion flattened number 11 Buckley Street, where Jamie lived, and number nine, where Mr Partington lived. It is understood Mr Partington had only moved into the property around six weeks ago.