Man Arrested Over Oldham Explosion

28 June 2012, 07:25 | Updated: 30 March 2016, 13:50

Police have arrested a 32 year old man over an explosion in Oldham that killed a two year old boy.

The suspect, 32, was arrested yesterday and taken into custody following Jamie Heaton's death in Shaw on Tuesday. 

Police are also waiting to question the two-year-old's neighbour Andrew Partington, 27, who was left with life-threatening burns after being caught up in the blast. 

Jamie, described by his 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 victim'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.'' 

Greater Manchester Police said a murder inquiry may be launched following the killer blast that struck at around 11.15am on Tuesday. 

The explosion tore through three homes, killing Jamie and leaving neighbour Mr Partington in hospital with serious burns. 

Detectives said the 27-year-old faces "significant questions'' in the wake of initial police and fire service investigations. Officers are at his bedside at Wythenshawe Hospital in Manchester waiting to be given the go-ahead by doctors to quiz him. 

Steve Heywood, Assistant Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police (GMP), said detectives had information suggesting the toddler's death may not be accidental. "We are treating it as a suspicious death and therefore a homicide investigation is undertaken,'' he added. 

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. 

Flowers were left in tribute at the edge of the police cordon, which is expected to remain in place around the devastated streets at the centre of the blast for several days.