TRIBUTES have been paid to a ‘lovely, cheeky boy’ who died in a Cwm house fire in the early hours of yesterday morning.
Alex Lewis, 17, was known to friends as 'Mousey', and died following the fire at a house on Stewart Street.
Friends and neighbours of the teenager have paid tribute to him, describing him as a ‘fantastic, smiley boy’ who had ambitions to join the army.
When the Argus visited the house this morning there were 29 bouquets of flowers outside the house, each with touching personal messages from friends and family.
Several mourners visited to pay their respects and lay flowers in memory of him.
One young woman broke down in tears as she laid her flowers next to the others.
Jenny Chilcott, a friend of Alex's, was laying a bouquet of flowers outside his house when the Argus spoke to her.
"He was a fantastic, smiley boy," she said. "He really was. He was cheeky as anything, that's why we got him the cheeky monkey flowers. I'll never forget him, and I'll make sure my daughter remembers him as well.
"He bothered with everyone all the time, he never saw the bad in anyone.
"No one could say a bad word about the boy. He was lovely. I can't imagine what his family are going through."
Derrick Bevan, county councillor for the Cwm ward said: “I didn’t know him but I know his mother and father, and they are nice people. It’s a terrible tragedy.
“Everyone around here is gutted. People I have spoken to have said they are devastated, by all accounts he was a nice, quiet boy – never any trouble or problems. Just a nice boy, tidy, you know?
“It’s a terrible tragedy, the whole area is so shocked and upset. It’s so sad.”
On social media, users paid tribute to Mousey.
One said on Facebook: “Cant believe it.. You was such a sweetie.. I met you at a party.. started talking.. you become my little friend and told me I was the prettiest girl you'd ever partied with bless you Lol.. it's not goodbye.. it's until we meet again my friend.. Rip Mousey.”
Another user said: "R.I.P brother cant believe it absolutely gutted all the laughs we had in school won't be the same without you sleep tight brother until we meet again i love you xx".
On Twitter one user said: "R.I.P Mousey big man! You will be missed by many! Still hasn't sunk in yet been crying for most of the night you will be missed by everyone Mousey! #RIP".
Another said: "Such sad news to hear someone our age has passed away :(! RIP Mousey!"
And another said: "Can't believe what I just got told, another young boy taken to early! Sad day, RIP Mousey."
Gwent police, South Wales Fire and Rescue Service and the Welsh Ambulance Service attended the house fire in Stewart Street just after 3am on Sunday morning.
Inspector Simon Powell-Jones said entry was forced into the premises and firefighters rescued the teenager who was taken to Nevill Hall hospital in Abergavenny, where he later died.
Inspector Powell-Jones said the teenager's family was being supported and a joint investigation is now underway between the police and the fire service to establish the cause of the fire.
Police have indicated the fire is not believed to have been deliberately set.