Blaze tragedy mother released from hospital

A woman whose four children died in a fire at their home has been released from hospital.

The 45-year-old woman, named locally as Rachel Henson, was treated in hospital for smoke inhalation following the blaze at the house in Hulland Ward, near Ashbourne, Derbyshire.



Her children, all under the age of 10, died after the fire, which engulfed the property while they slept upstairs at about 11.30pm on Monday night.



Ms Henson escaped and then tried unsuccessfully to get back into the house to rescue her children.



Neighbours struggled to reach the two boys and two girls as the fire swept through the house but could not open the front door of the property.



Her sister Rebecca, 45, told reporters: "She loved her children. She was a single mum but not on benefits. She worked her backside off for her kids."



Two of the children, named locally as Tommy, aged nine and Appolonia, two, were carried out of the house by firefighters but later died in hospital.



The bodies of the two other children, named by family members as Aleisha, six, and Rocco, four, were later found inside the semi-detached house in Highfield Road.





















A spokesman for Derbyshire Police confirmed Ms Henson had been released from hospital and had been told about the deaths of her children.

Grandfather Tony Nulty said: "I just can't believe it. They were two beautiful little children."



Mr Nulty, 60, from Carmarthenshire in Wales, told the BBC his son Lee was devastated.



"Lee saw Aleisha and Rocco most weekends and was a loving dad," he said.



"My son called me at 4.30 in the morning to say what had happened.



"He was very upset and crying on the phone. The police had just come round in the early hours to say there had been a fire and his children had died."



The cause of the fire, which broke out on the ground floor while the children slept upstairs, is not yet known. Derbyshire Constabulary and Derbyshire Fire Service have launched a joint investigation.



Chief Supt Peter Lewis said there was no reason to believe that rumours circulating in the local community that a former partner of Ms Henson had previously threatened to set fire to her house were true.



He said: "I've got to say any speculation with regard to that at this stage would be unhelpful.



"We have got no evidence of such threats but obviously everything we hear we are looking into."



About 20 firefighters helped to bring the blaze under control.



Gavin Tomlinson, from Derbyshire Fire and Rescue, said of the neighbours' attempts to help: "I'm aware that they did try to get into the door on the ground floor but it was locked. We effected the rescues from the first floor using a ladder."



He said the fire service was keeping an "open mind" as to the cause of the blaze, and could not say whether it was suspicious.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before