Investigation continues in relation to Stafford house fire

Thursday, 7th February 2019

AN investigation is continuing today, Thursday, to determine the cause of the house fire in Highfields, Stafford.

Four children died in the fire, in the early hours of Tuesday morning (Feb 5), at a house in Sycamore Lane.

Chief Inspector Gemma Ward, Commander of Stafford Neighbourhood Policing Team, thanked the public for their patience and their continuing support as the investigation continues.

“There has been a huge outpouring of support following the tragic loss of these four precious lives.

“People have expressed their shock and grief, but taken the time to ask about the welfare of the family and those dealing with the incident, which is much appreciated.”

“We’re aware of the community’s wishes to come together tonight and will be present in the area to provide support and ensure that the ongoing investigation scene remains protected.

map of The scene of the fire in Stafford

The scene of the fire in Stafford

Chief Inspector Ward said members of the public from near and far, as well as businesses, had been extremely kind and had brought refreshments to officers, investigators and other staff at the scene.

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Rob Barber said: “Our work investigating the cause of the fire continues and we will make that public as soon as we are able. The firefighters who responded to the incident did their best under extremely difficult circumstances and their colleagues who have been at the scene subsequently have also found things challenging. Firefighters at the scene have appreciated the support shown to them by local people and are grateful for it.

“Our Chief Fire Officer, Becci Bryant attended the incident as gold commander and then paid paid her respects and laid flowers on behalf of the service on Tuesday. We know that members of the community have been deeply affected by this shocking incident and wish to pay their respects, as well. However, the Service does not wish to intrude on this but will continue to visit homes in the surrounding area to offer support and advice on fire safety.”

Police together with colleagues from Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service and West Midlands Fire Service remain at the scene while forensic enquiries are ongoing into the cause of the blaze.

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.

A woman aged 24, and a man aged 28, escaped with a two-year-old boy.

The man is being treated for burns and the woman for smoke inhalation. Their injuries are not life-threatening.