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27 June 2012, 17:18
The family has paid tribute to a 2 year old boy who was killed in the massive blast in Shaw.
Two-year-old Jamie Heaton was in one of the houses when they exploded. National Grind say it was NOT caused by a gas leak.
Police a treating Jamie’s death as suspicious and have launched a murder investigation.
In a tribute his family said: “Jamie was a happy loving little boy - precious son to Michelle and Kenny and loving little brother to Jodie and Jack.
“Jamie's life was full of laughter. He loved going to preschool, 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.".
His mum Michelle survived because she had just stepped into the back garden to hang out washing.
On Tuesday officers heard a loud explosion. Five homes had been severely damaged because of the blast, some of them even reduced to rubble.
Sadly, Jamie’s body was found inside one of the houses.
Another man, aged 27, was taken to hospital for treatment to burn injuries and he remains in a serious but stable condition.
No one else is believed to be missing or hurt.
Assistant Chief Constable Steve Heywood, said: “Being local to the Oldham area I am personally saddened by this incident, which has claimed the life of a young and much loved boy and brought scenes of devastation to Shaw.
“As tragic as this incident is, I take heart from the overwhelming response from the local community and businesses, all of whom have shown great strength in adversity, and GMP and our partners will continue to support them in whatever way we can.
“I know many of the dozens of displaced residents are eager to return home. If we could make that happen straight away we would but I hope they understand that not only is this now a crime scene, the general area is just not safe at this time.
“As soon as we are able to get residents safely back into their houses we will do so.
“We have already mentioned that we are aware of a domestic incident taking place on Monday evening and I would again reiterate that this is not something we responded to at the time but is what we are being told.
“This forms part of our ongoing investigation but I need to stress that we do not know the cause of the explosion and to speculate is not helpful to anyone.