Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting HT NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
Fatal house fire 'still suspicious'
Police say a house fire which caused the deaths of five children is still being treated as suspicious after a man and a woman who were arrested on suspicion of murder were released without charge.
The 28-year-old woman and 38-year-old man, both from Derby, were arrested by officers investigating the deaths of 10-year-old Jade Philpott and her siblings John, nine, Jack, seven, Jessie, six, and five-year-old Jayden.
The children died after a fire ripped through their home in Victory Road, Allenton, Derby, in the early hours of Friday. Their 13-year-old brother Duwayne, who was also in the house at the time of the blaze, remains in a critical condition in hospital in Birmingham.
Assistant Chief Constable Steve Cotterill said: "This is a complex inquiry which requires careful and methodical investigation. We are still treating the fire as suspicious and are pursuing a number of lines of inquiry."
The children's father, Mick Philpott, who was dubbed "Shameless Mick" in 2007 for his benefit claims and refusal to get a job in a TV documentary by former Conservative MP Ann Widdecombe, made a "valiant" attempt to save them, police said.
Said to be the father of 17 children, Mr Philpott hit the headlines after demanding a larger house to share with his wife Mairead, girlfriend, Lisa, and eight offspring.
The children were asleep in their beds upstairs in the house when the fire broke out at the pebble-dashed semi-detached home in the early hours of yesterday morning.
A Derbyshire Police spokeswoman said post-mortem examinations were to be carried out on the children to establish the cause of their deaths, but details have yet to be released.
Mr Cotterill offered his thanks to members of the community who had approached police with information but said he was "surprised" by how few had contacted police.
"I strongly suspect that there is someone out there in the community who knows more than we are being told," he said. "I fully understand that people may be reluctant to talk to us. My plea in this case is to remember that we are trying to find out exactly what caused the death of these five young children, who had everything to look forward to in life. If someone has confided in you, now is the time to speak up and do the right thing."