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zaterdag, mei 12, 2012

Prayers for fire death children

The scene of the fire in DerbyThe children were sleeping upstairs when the fire began early on Friday

Police are continuing to question a man and a woman arrested on suspicion of murdering five children in a fire.

The children, four boys and a girl, aged between five and 10, died in the fire in Derby early on Friday, despite their father's attempts to save them.

Their 13-year-old brother, who was also in the house in Victory Road, Allenton, is in a critical condition in a hospital in Birmingham.

The woman, 28, and man, 38, from Derby, were arrested separately on Friday.

The children were asleep upstairs when the fire began. Derbyshire Police said their father, who was sleeping downstairs, made "valiant attempts" to save them.

Widdecome documentary

The children have been identified by police as 10-year-old Jade Philpott, John Philpott, nine, Jack Philpott, seven, Jessie Philpott, six, and Jayden Philpott, five.

Mick PhilpottMick Philpott made "valiant attempts" to save the children

The children's father, who is believed to have 17 children, was named locally as Mick Philpott.

Derbyshire Police said 13-year-old Duwayne Philpott remained in a critical condition with his parents by his bedside.

Two adults who suffered minor injuries and were treated at Royal Derby Hospital have not been formally identified.

Mr Philpott and his family were the subject of media scrutiny in 2006 when he asked the council for a larger house to accommodate his wife, girlfriend and 14 children.

In 2007, former Conservative MP Ann Widdecombe spent a week living with the family as part of an ITV documentary and he also appeared as a guest on the same channel's Jeremy Kyle Show.

Miss Widdecombe said, following the fire,: "Nobody would ever call him a bad father. I'm so sorry to hear the news and my thoughts are with the family."

'Tragic loss'

Gavin Tomlinson, area manager for Derbyshire Fire and Rescue, said the parents had managed to get out of the house and were trying to get the children out when fire crews arrived.

Temporary Assistant Chief Constable of Derbyshire Police Steve Cotterill said: "There appears to have been some valiant attempts by the father to resuscitate his children."

Flowers and tributes left near the houseFlowers and toys have been left as tributes near the house

All five of the children who died went to St George's Catholic Primary School in Littleover.

In a statement, the school said: "We extend our deepest sympathies to the family and community at this sad time."

Post-mortem tests are due to take place over the weekend and forensic specialists will be examining the house.

Mr Cotterill said eight people were living in the house on a permanent basis, though other people may have stayed there on an ad hoc basis.

He said: "Our thoughts are with the parents and the family of the children for their tragic loss and for the community of Allenton, who would of course have known the children as they played.

"This is going to be a very lengthy and detailed investigation. We are keeping an open mind."

Anyone with information about the fire has been asked to contact Derbyshire Police.


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