Langley Mill fire: Three arrested on suspicion of murder after mother and baby die in blaze

A 17-year-old friend of the young family was also killed in the Derbyshire fire

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The Independent Online

Three people have been arrested on suspicion of murder after a house fire killed two teenagers and a baby in Derbyshire.

Amy Smith, 17, her six-month-old daughter Ruby-Grace Gaunt, and friend Edward Green, also 17, died in the blaze that started in the early hours of Sunday morning.

The baby's father, Shaun Gaunt, is believed to have also been caught up in the fire but escaped the burning flat in Langley Mill.

Amy Smith died with her baby daughter in the fire

A spokesperson for Derbyshire Constabulary said a 17-year-old boy from Long Eaton and two men aged 21 and 43, from Sandiacre, were arrested late last night on suspicion of murder.

They remain in custody and were being questioned by detectives this morning.

The cause of the fire, which was reported at 4am on Fathers’ Day, has not yet been confirmed.

Assistant Chief Constable Martyn Bates said: “The cause of the fire is still unknown and the possibility that it was started deliberately is just one of many lines of inquiry we are pursuing at this time.

“These arrests do not mark the end of the investigation, far from it. I would still urge anyone with information to come forward and speak to us.”

Six-and-a-half-month-old Ruby-Grace Gaunt died in the flat fire

Ms Smith lived in the flat, in North Street, with her daughter and Mr Green, from Belper, was believed to be among a group of people visiting at the time.

Mr Gaunt and another teenage boy were reportedly rescued by neighbours with ladders and were treated for smoke inhalation.

Paul Barber, 33, who lives in the flat next door, said he and his wife were woken at 4am by banging on their door and saw a “big glow” and flames shooting into the air.

"People were screaming for help, it was very chaotic,” he added. “I saw one person throwing their child out of the window on to a mattress to get him safe.

"It's a big shame, they were a very cute family."

Edward Green was one of the three people killed in a flat fire in Derbyshire

Firefighters had been called to a car on fire at the same address minutes before the flat blaze was reported.

Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service said three people escaped from adjacent flats but they were unable to save those who died at the scene and sent their thoughts and sympathies to their loved ones.

Tributes have been piling up outside the burnt out home, with one person writing that “17 is too young to die”.

Jodie Mee wrote: "Rest in peace girls and Ed, heaven has gained two beautiful girls and a strong boy. Thoughts go out to their family and all the people who knew them.”

Another, writing as Lewis Ph, added: “Love you bro, I'll never forget the times we had together. We were close mates for a long time, best mates. You were like a brother to me and nothing will ever change that. RIP brother.”

Anyone with information should call police on 101 and ask to be put through to the incident room at Alfreton Police Station.