Arson cause of Derby house fire, say police


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Police are treating a house fire which claimed the lives of six siblings as arson. Duwayne Philpott, 13, pictured, became the sixth victim of the blaze at the family home in Allenton, Derby, when he died in the intensive-care unit at Birmingham Children's Hospital. His parents were by his side.

A hospital spokesman said his injuries had been "too great for him to survive". Assistant Chief Constable Steve Cotterill of Derbyshire police said forensic examinations revealed the fire was not an accident. "Initial indications are that it was deliberately set and as a result six children have been unlawfully killed. A number of specialists, including fingerprints officers, have been examining the scene and this is likely to continue for some time," he said.

Duwayne, along with his sister Jade, 10, and brothers John, nine, Jack, seven, Jessie, six, and five-year-old Jayden, were asleep upstairs when fire broke out. They died of smoke inhalation despite their father Mick Philpott's "valiant" attempts to save them.

Mr Philpott, a father of 17 children, had appeared regularly in the media after reportedly asking his local council for his large family to be rehoused into larger accommodation. A 28-year-old woman and a 38-year-old man, both from Derby, were arrested by officers investigating the deaths but were later released without charge. Detectives are urging witnesses to come forward.