Mother of blaze death children had made complaints to police

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The Independent Online

A mother whose two older children died in a house fire an hour after she reported noise and anti-social behaviour in her back garden had called police several times in the past three years.

Niamh and Cayden Maynard, aged five and two, died in the fire at their home in Buxton, Derbyshire, on Friday night after they became trapped upstairs.



Their mother, 23-year-old Fiona Adams, jumped to safety from a bedroom window on to a trampoline with her eight-month-old son Kiernan.



Yesterday, a 17-year-old arrested in connection with the fire in Edale Way was released from custody and ruled out as a suspect, police said.



The teenager was interviewed and police decided no further action will be taken against him and he is not suspected of being involved in the incident, they said.



Emergency services were called to the blaze just before midnight on Friday.



It is believed the children's father James Maynard was at work at the time.



Ms Adams and her baby were rushed to hospital after jumping from the bedroom window.



It was reported that she had tried to rescue her two older children but was beaten back by smoke and flames.



Police said both mother and baby were stable in hospitals in Manchester.



Post-mortem examinations were due to take place on Niamh and Cayden, but police said formal identification had yet to take place.



Investigations were continuing into the possible cause of the fire, which has been described as suspicious by police.



Assistant Chief Constable Steve Cotterill appealed for anyone with any photographs or video footage of the scene either before, during or after the blaze to come forward.



He said: "We have received scores of calls and approaches by people with information and for that I am very grateful.



"I'd urge anyone who may have photographs or video footage of the scene of the fire either prior to, during or after the incident to get in touch with us to help us build up a full picture of what has happened."



Investigations were continuing today into reports that Ms Adams had experienced problems with anti-social behaviour.



It was reported that shortly before the blaze broke out she posted a message on Facebook saying: "You can smash the windows and the car but you'll never get me and the kids."



Mr Cotterill said police received a call at 10.45pm on Friday night from the 23-year-old reporting nuisance behaviour and noise coming from her back garden.



He said that while one officer sat and spoke with her, a second conducted a search. Some garden furniture had been disturbed but nothing else was found.



He said: "We are looking at whether there is any possible connection with this first call and the fire around an hour later.



"We can further confirm that police have previously been called to the premises over the last three years, mainly in relation to domestic-related matters and on a couple of occasions in relation to reports of anti-social behaviour/damage."



The Independent Police Complaints Commission was informed of the incident.



Tributes including flowers and teddy bears were placed placed at the scene yesterday as prayers were said in the local community.



Rev Carl Edwards, vicar at nearby St Peter's Church, said the tragedy hit the local community hard.



He said: "It's a very tight-knit community but Buxton is of the nature whereby most people know or are connected in some way, and Fairfield is very tight-knit.



"So when an incident of this kind of magnitude hits one family it tends to hit many others as well, so there's a sense in which everybody is sharing in the grief."



He said he visited the area on Saturday afternoon and planned to return yesterday.



"When I was there I encountered a number of different reactions - shock, anger and grief of course and these are all things that people are coming to terms with."



Yesterday morning's service included prayers for the family and seven candles were lit in the church - five for the five years of Niamh's life and two for Cayden - as well as a two-minute silence.



A spokeswoman for the nearby Methodist church said although they did not know the family, they had also said prayers yesterday morning.