31/07/2014

A man and a woman who were arrested on suspicion of murder in connection with the deaths of five children in a house fire in Derby have been released without charge, police have said.

The 28-year-old woman and 38-year-old man, both from Derby, were arrested on Friday by officers investigating the deaths of Jade Philpott, 10, John Philpott, nine, Jack Philpott, seven, Jessie Philpott, six, and Jayden Philpott, five.

The children died after a fire broke out at their home in Victory Road, Allenton, Derby, in the early hours of Friday.

Their 13-year-old brother Duwayne, who was also in the house at the time of the blaze, remains in a critical condition in hospital in Birmingham.

Derbyshire police’s assistant chief constable Steve Cotterill said: “This is a complex inquiry which requires careful and methodical investigation.

“We are still treating the fire as suspicious and are pursuing a number of lines of inquiry.”

The children’s father, Mick Philpott, made a “valiant” attempt to save them, police said.

The children were asleep in their beds upstairs when the fire broke out.

A Derbyshire police spokeswoman said post-mortem examinations were to be carried out on the children on Saturday to establish the cause of their deaths, but details have yet to be released.

Forensic scientists could be seen working at the property throughout Friday and for most of Saturday, looking for clues as to how the fire started.

Cotterill offered his thanks to members of the community who had approached police with information but said he was “surprised” by how few had contacted police.

“I strongly suspect that there is someone out there in the community who knows more than we are being told,” he said.

“I fully understand that people may be reluctant to talk to us. My plea in this case is to remember that we are trying to find out exactly what caused the death of these five young children, who had everything to look forward to in life.

“If someone has confided in you, now is the time to speak up and do the right thing.”

Article source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/may/12/derby-fire-deaths-pair-released

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