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Teenage jockeys killed in 'arson attack' 06/09/2009
Mark Townsend
Britain's horse-racing community was in shock after two of the most promising jockeys of their generation were killed in a suspected arson attack.

Teenagers Jamie Kyne, who was due to ride at Haydock Park racecourse , and Jan Wilson died in the blaze at flats near Malton, North Yorkshire.

Police were questioning a man in connection with the attack at the three-storey block in the village of Norton, although officers refused to divulge a possible motive.

Kyne, 18, was described as potentially one of the best jockeys of his generation, having amassed 24 winners over the summer, while fellow apprentice Wilson, 19, aspired to become a professional racer after securing the first major win of her career last April.

Wilson's homepage on the social networking site Bebo, and updated for the last time on 4 SeptemberFriday, revealed her ambition: "To be a succesfull [sic] jockey and do my best at everything I do in life."

The couple are thought to have become close friends and may have been in the same bedroom when the fire broke out at flats reserved for apprentice jockeys in Buckrose Court around 2am on 5 September .

Eyewitnesses described survivors jumping from windows to flee the blaze. Catherine Hyder, who lives opposite the flats, said: "My husband heard a girl come down on to the street and was banging on doors to raise the alarm. She said someone had jumped out of one of the windows. We could see the flames at the back and there were a lot of fire brigade people around. It was quite scary and quite noisy."

The landlord of the Railway Tavern, Steve Kinsella, said he first became aware of the incident when a girl ran into the street screaming, shortly after the fire began just after 2am. "All she had on was a T-shirt. She was shouting, 'Fire, fire,' screaming at the top of her voice," said Kinsella.

Kinsella said police asked him to open up his pub and up to 20 people evacuated from the flats came inside to recover.

He said: "They were shocked but quiet. Nobody was hysterical. They were very, very dignified. They had lived through it. All I did was to give tea and coffee to them. I probably knew them by sight, but nothing more than that. It's just very, very sad for young lives to be lost like that."

Two men, believed to be in their early 20s, were taken to York District Hospital, where they were treated for the effects of smoke inhalation and burn injuries.

Kyne was destined for success, according to racing insiders. The young Irishman was trained in North Yorkshire by the well-regarded trainer John Quinn, who runs the stables at Malton.

Wilson, from Forfar, was trained by the respected David Barron, also based in North Yorkshire.

Wilson's last win came at Ayr racecourse on the horse Liberty Trail, which is owned by her mother Margaret. Her mother watched the triumph, describing the event to the local newspaper as a "special day".

Along with turning professional, Wilson's dream was to race the family's own horse, Bed Fellow, to victory. She was also a keen charity worker and helped out at the Riding for the Disabled Association.

Kempton and Thirsk racecourses staged a period of silence in remembrance, while jockeys at Stratford wore black armbands. York racecourse flew its flags at half-mast .

Police said the man being held was arrested shortly after the incident.

Superintendent Steve Tarn said: "At this moment in time the police are treating it [the fire] as suspicious."

Stuart Simpson, from the North Yorkshire Fire Service, said that 60 firefighters were at the scene within five minutes but they could not get into the flats, known locally as The Tannery, immediately because of the fire on the staircase.