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Six Children Die in House Fire in Derby

11/May/2012

Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service has, this morning, attended a house fire that tragically resulted in the loss of life of six children aged between five and 13 years of age. The sixth child, aged 13, was taken to Birmingham Children's Hospital in a critical condition but died on the evening of the 14th May. Two adults were able to escape the property after being alerted by a hard-wired smoke detector.

The fire in Allenton, Derby, was attended by five appliances, the first of which was at the property within five minutes of the initial call. Crews gained access immediately and tackled a severe fire to reach the children on the first floor. All six children were quickly removed to outside the building and attempts to resuscitate them were made by fire crews in conjunction with East Midlands Ambulance Service personnel.

Chief Fire Officer and Chief Executive of Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service, Sean Frayne, who has been campaigning for the fitting of sprinklers in new domestic properties and those that are vulnerable from fire, has made a renewed plea for action. He stated: "This tragic loss of life has reiterated the need for further action to be taken to protect lives from fire. Those that have the power to make this happen must take every action they can to improve safety, and that includes the fitting of domestic sprinklers." He went on to say: "The smoke alarm has done its job in this instance. It has worked and alerted some of the occupants of the house, but not all. A sprinkler would have protected those that were not aware of the fire or not able to escape."

Chief Fire Officer Frayne praised the actions of his personnel and fire crews and acknowledged that there was nothing more that could have been done by them to avert this tragedy. He stated: "We cannot have a fire-fighter in every room of every house to prevent such incidents. Sprinklers are like having a fire-fighter in every room."

This latest incident follows an incident in Derbyshire in January 2011, when four young children also died in a house fire at Hulland Ward, Derbyshire.

Update: 11/05/12 16:54

Police have released the names of five children who they believe died in the fire at a house on Victory Road in Allenton in the early hours of this morning (Friday May 11).

The children have not yet been formally identified but because of the extent of social media coverage and speculation, their names have been released as Jade Philpott (aged 10), John Philpott (9), Jack Philpott (7), Jessie (6) and Jayden Philpott (5).

Their 13-year-old brother, Duwayne, remains in a critical condition in hospital in Birmingham. His parents are by his bedside.

The parents have not yet agreed to the release of photographs of the children.

Post mortem examinations will be carried out during the weekend to determine the exact cause of the children's deaths.

An incident room has been set up at St Mary's Wharf police station. Forensic specialists are examining the house and the joint investigation between the police and fires service continues.

The 28-year-old woman who was arrested this morning remains in police custody and will be questioned later.

Anyone who has information that would help the investigation should contact the police on 101 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Assistant Chief Constable Steve Cotterill said: "I am grateful for cooperation from the community in Allenton and their patience during the road closures.

There will be an increased presence from police and partner agencies in the area during the next few days to offer advice to the community."

For further information please contact rpalmer@derbys-fire.gov.uk or 07900 226081.

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