Four children found dead following a house fire in the Highfields area of Stafford this morning (5 February) have been named by detectives.
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.
Police officers and Fire and ambulance services attended the house fire in Sycamore Lane at 2:40am.
On arrival crews were faced with a fully developed fire on the first floor of the end terrace property.
A 28-year-old male, 24-year-old female, and a fifth child had escaped from the property prior to their arrival by a first floor window.
They each received treatment by the ambulance staff for non life threatening injuries before taken to the major trauma centre in Stoke.
The man is being treated for burns and the woman for smoke inhalation.
Rob Barber, Deputy Chief Fire Officer for Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “I can sadly confirm that the bodies of four young children were located within the property by fire and rescue service personnel. Our fire investigation team are currently working with colleagues from West Midlands fire service and Staffordshire Police in order to find out how the fire started and spread throughout the property.
“I know that this heartbreaking tragic incident will have affected large parts of our community and as such Staffordshire fire and rescue service personnel will remain the community to offer support and advice.
“Our thoughts go out to the family and friends of those involved at this tragic incident”
Nathan Hudson, Assistant Chief Officer for West Midlands Ambulance Service, said: “This was an immensely difficult incident for all three services to respond to and my thanks go to my staff and all the mersey personnel on scene.
“Our thoughts of West midlands ambulance service remain with the family and friends and the four children at this time.”
Chief Inspector Gemma Ward, Commander for the Stafford Neighbourhood Policing Team, 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.
“We will provide further updates in due course.”
Stafford Borough Council Leader, Patrick Farrington, said: “This is horrible news. Four young lives have been lost and I cannot comprehend how their family and loved ones can even begin to come to terms with this. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family.
“We are also thinking of our emergency services who will have been deeply affected by this tragedy.”