TRIBUTES have been paid to a popular 20-year-old who died in a horrific house fire.
Craig Westhorp was killed in the devastating blaze which tore through the family home in Formby Close, Hartlepool.
Flowers have been left outside the house and hundreds of friends have left touching online tributes to supermarket worker Craig.
One poignant message read: “Just can’t believe your gone, sleep tight mate. God only takes the best.”
A work pal wrote: “RIP Craig, can’t believe it..only seen ya other day at work.”
Another devastated friend wrote: “Never missed somebody so much. I hope your rocking out up there.”
Another message said: “Never said a bad word about anyone or anything. Made everyone laugh all the time.”
Craig, a former English Martyrs School student, was at home with his 17-year-old brother Reece and step-dad, named locally as Andrew Sutherland, when the fire broke out at around 5am yesterday.
Smoke was seen by police who were on patrol in the area.
Alan, 40, and Reece managed to escape and were taken to the University Hospital of Hartlepool suffering from the effects of smoke inhalation and were released later.
The fire brigade and police were at the scene in minutes, but Craig could not be rescued.
Another family member, a seven-year-old girl, was not in the house at the time and is understood to have been at her grandparents.
Neighbours spoke of their shock at the tragedy yesterday.
Formby Close resident Patricia Thorpe said: “The man that lives there was frantic. My husband Ian came down and got a ladder.
“I phoned the fire brigade, but they were already on their way.
Neighbour Joan Beha, 59, said: “The smoke was terrible and flames were coming out of the upstairs window.
“I feel so sorry for the family.”
Her husband Joe Beha, 63, added: “They seem a close family. The two boys always seemed to be together.” Another neighbour, who did not wish to be named, said: “My thoughts go out to the family.”
Inquiries are continuing into how the fire started.
l Visit www.hartlepoolmail.co.uk to leave your tributes to Craig.