Two questioned over house fire that killed four children in Staffordshire are bailed

Saturday 9th February 2019 20:00 GMT

A 24-year-old woman and a 28-year-old man had been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter by gross negligence.

Police said on Saturday evening that both had been released while inquiries continue.

Police are investigating the cause of the fire which tore through the house in the Highfields area of Stafford on Tuesday.

Riley Holt, eight, Keegan Unitt, six, Olly Unitt, three, and Tilly Rose Unitt, four, died after the blaze in Sycamore Lane.

Their mother Natalie Unitt and her partner Chris Moulton were treated in hospital for non life-threatening injuries along with a fifth child.

A man was reportedly seen jumping from a window of the house while clutching a baby.

Photos from the scene showed part of the roof of the house collapsed, windows were smashed and the inside was blackened with smoke.

The arrested pair were detained at about 1.30pm on Friday, but on Saturday the force said: "A 24-year-old woman and a 28-year-old man arrested on suspicion of manslaughter by gross negligence following a house fire in Stafford have been bailed while inquiries continue."

Noting the "huge impact on the community", officers called for the public not to speculate on the circumstances of the fire.

"The man and woman arrested are living at an address out of the area," the police statement added.

A fundraising page set up for the family of the four children has raised over £29,500 after more than 1,800 people donated money.

Teachers paid emotional tributes to the children, describing them as "bright, happy, loving and lively".

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