Stafford house fire update

Tuesday, 5th February 2019

DETECTIVES investigating a fatal fire in Stafford this morning have released names of the children who are believed to have died.

The children have yet to be formally identified but are believed to be Riley Holt, aged eight, Keegan Unitt, aged six, Tilly Rose Unitt, aged four, and Olly Unitt, aged three.

Emergency services rushed to the home on Sycamore Lane in the Highfields area of Stafford at 2.40am this morning, Tuesday 5 February due to the report of a house fire.

A woman aged 24, and a man, aged 28, escaped with a two-year-old boy by jumping from a first floor window.

The man is being treated for burns and the woman for smoke inhalation. All three are in hospital, but their injuries are not life-threatening.

Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Rob Barber has said: “Staffordshire and West Midlands fire investigation teams are currently working with colleagues from Staffordshire police to find out how the fire started, and spread throughout the property.

“At this time I cannot comment further upon the likely cause however we will keep you updated as further information becomes available.

“I know that this incident will have significantly affected the local community and as such Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service will be in the area to provide support and reassurance to community members regarding fire safety. If anybody requires further support or advice our contact details can be found on the Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service website

“Again our thoughts go out to the family and friends at this difficult time.”

Chief Inspector Gemma Ward of Staffordshire Police has said: “I want to reassure you we are working closely with colleagues from Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service as investigative work into the cause of the fire begins.

“We would like to offer our condolences and thank the community for their support, as I’m aware groups and individuals have already been offering aid.”

The investigation in to the cause of the fire is ongoing at this time and is likely to take a number of days.

Philip Atkins, Leader of Staffordshire County Council, said: “I was shocked to hear the terrible news of the deaths of four children in the heart of our community.

“We will support the family in any way and our thoughts and prayers are very much with all those who knew and loved these children and who now must cope with this tragic loss.”

He added: “I would also thank all the emergency services for their work and professionalism in these devastating circumstances.”

At Tamworth Informed, our thoughts are with the family and friends of those involved, along with all the emergency services who attended their scene and tried their best.