Demands for 'accountability' after fireplace crushes little girl

By Jonathan Humphries

Readers have demanded "accountability" after a heavy concrete and marble fireplace came loose and crushed a six-year-old girl in her family home.

Alexa-Leigh Blakemore remains in a critical but stable condition at Alder Hey Children's Hospital after suffering serious head injuries including a fractured skull and bleeding on the brain.

Dad Keiran Blakemore, and mum Elle Williams, of Colesborne Road in Norris Green, say their daughter's condition is "touch and go" after the accident on Friday, September 10, at around 8.10pm.

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The pair, who rent from a private landlord, say they have been calling for repairs in the property and want to warn others to make sure heavy fireplaces are secure.

The fireplace is believed to have fallen due to crumbling plaster.

Readers shared their shock and support for Alexa-Leigh and her family, who are hoping to move to safe accommodation soon.

Alexa-Leigh Blakemore, six, who is in a critical condition in Alder Hey Children's Hospital after being crushed by a large concrete and marble fireplace (Kieran Blakemore)

Posting on the ECHO Facebook page, Sue Bulman wrote: "This is heartbreaking. I pray this little girl pulls through.

"More landlords should be held accountable for the responsibility of the safety in their properties."

Two other posters spoke of similar incidents.

Kelly Ann Butler said: "This almost happened to my lad when he was four. Fire place fell off out of nowhere he was just inches away from it.

"Our heart thoughts and prayers for a speedy recovery."

Stacey Bombacy McDonald said: "So sad. This happened to my nephew when he was small."

Alexa-Leigh Blakemore, six, with her little sisters Gracie-Mae and Luna-Raye at their home in Norris Green (Kieran Blakemore)

Dozens of commenters urged Alexa-Leigh to "keep on fighting" and shared their thoughts and prayers.

Bonnie Low said: "Get better soon sweet one. Sending healing energies and positivity to you and your family."

In a message to Alexa-Leigh's family, Shirley Aspinall shared a harrowing story which came to a happy ending.

She said: "My nephew was put in a coma after a fall on his head caused a fractured skull.

"It was heartbreaking to see him but he did wake up and made a full recovery . I hope and pray your little girl wakes up soon."

Alexa-Leigh was playing in the living room when the accident happened.

Her dad Keiran told the ECHO: "I was lying on the couch feeding our five week old baby and her mum was in the bath.

"Alexa-Leigh was doing her thing like she normally does, running around and playing like the happy little girl she is. I was concentrating on feeding my baby but I could see her out of the corner of my eye.

"All of a sudden there was a crash and this thing had fallen on her and there was a lot of blood.

Alexa-Leigh Blakemore, six, with mum Elle, dad Keiran and little sister Luna-Rae (Kieran Blakemore)

"This fireplace is like a concrete and marble thing and to move it I would have to walk it across the floor, but when it happened I have never lifted anything so quick, I moved it like it was a piece of paper.

"Within 10 seconds I was shouting in the street for help, and the ambulance came within two and a half minutes."

Alexa-Leigh, a pupil at Monksdown Primary School, sustained a fractured skull, a fractured eye socket, a fractured wrist, and most seriously bruising on the brain.

Keiran said doctors at Alder Hey said the force of the blow would have "knocked out a bull".

Keiran says surgeons at Alder Hey have already drained fluid from her brain in a bid to reduce pressure she remains in a medically induced coma.

He said: "We can go into the ward and sit by her as much as we want but it is horrible seeing her like that, with tubes going into her.

"It is really upsetting, we just need the city of Liverpool to be behind her."

A friend of the family, Katelin Shaw, has started a Gofundme crowdfunding page aiming to raise money to help the family move to safe accommodation when Alexa-Leigh leaves hospital and to help with any medical costs.

Anyone wishing to donate can do so here.

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