Police confirm Derby house fire was deliberate
Police have confirmed that a fire at a council-owned property in Derby that killed six children appears to have been started on purpose.
Derbyshire Police issued a statement yesterday saying it does not believe the fire was an accident, ‘and as a result six children have been unlawfully killed’.
The fire took place at a property owned by Derby Council and managed by arm’s-length management organisation Derby Homes on Victory Road, Allenton in the early hours of Friday morning.
Five children died in the fire, Jade Philpott (aged 10) and siblings John (9), Jack (7), Jessie (6), and Jayden (5). Their brother Duwayne (13) was taken to hospital in a critical condition and died over the weekend. Their parents were not seriously injured in the blaze.
Police arrested a 28-year-old woman and 38-year-old man on suspicion of murder on Friday (11 May), but the pair were released without charge the following day.
Steve Cotterill, assistant chief constable at Derbyshire Police, said: ‘The forensic examination is still continuing. A number of specialists, including fingerprint officers, have been examining the scene and this is likely to continue for some time.
‘We have yet to speak in detail with Mr and Mrs Philpott and that will happen sometime this week as understandably the couple are distraught at the loss of their six children.’
In a statement the council said: ‘Derby city councillors and officers offer our deepest sympathy to the family concerned and community of Allenton at this time. The incident remains under investigation with Derbyshire Police and Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service.
‘It would be improper for Derby City Council to comment further whilst an investigation is ongoing; priority must be given to the investigation.’