Firefighters are investigating the cause of a fire which took the lives of four children this morning on Sycamore Lane, Stafford this morning (Tuesday, February 5). Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Rob Barber, delivered the following statement to the media at lunchtime today.
Firstly I would like to pass on my condolences to the family and friends of those affected by this incident.
Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service received a call to a house fire on Sycamore Lane Stafford at 2.39 this morning (Tuesday, February 5).
Three fire appliances were mobilised and the first appliance arrived in seven minutes. In addition an aerial ladder platform was also mobilized. When they arrived crews were faced with a fully developed fire on the first floor of the end terrace property. One male, one female, and a baby had escaped from the property prior to our arrival via a first floor window.
Fire fighters wearing breathing apparatus entered the property in order to search for the other family members. Our fire fighters were faced with very difficult conditions within the property due to the severity of the fire. I can sadly confirm that the bodies of four young children were located within the property by fire and rescue personnel. They have now been named by Staffordshire police as Riley Holt, aged eight, Keegan Unitt, aged six, Tilly Rose Unitt, aged four, and Olly Unitt, aged three.
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.