Police launch murder hunt after death blaze
Thursday 24 February 1994
THREE young children who died in a blaze which destroyed their home were murdered, police said last night.
Detective Chief Inspector John Graham, leading the inquiry, said that no motive was known for the attack. Charlotte Alexander, four, her sister Amy, three, and one-year-old brother, Dean, died as flames and smoke filled the terraced house in Peterlee, Co Durham.
Their mother Lisa Alexander, 26, who is about 18 weeks pregnant, was rescued from an upstairs bedroom window by a neighbour. Her partner, Graham Alderton, 29, the children's father, was found standing in the snow wearing just underpants.
A neighbour said she saw him earlier breaking the glass of the downstairs bay window to escape.
Mr Alderton, who has a serious spine injury, and Ms Alexander, who has undergone surgery for a severed tendon in her right hand, are being treated in Hartlepool General Hospital.
Mr Graham said forensic science tests showed an 'accelerant', some kind of flammable liquid, was used to start the fire in the hall area.
As the news conference took place, officers were telling the parents of the new findings. Mr Graham added: 'Teams of detectives are talking to the parents, trying to gently coax from them any information they might have.'
Asked if he was aware of any motive, Mr Graham said he 'had no idea' and added he was unaware of anyone having a grudge against the family.
- 1 BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
- 2 18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
- 3 'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
General Election 2015: David Cameron catching up in polls – but he badly needs a clear lead
South Africa xenophobic attacks: Shops looted and violence on streets of Johannesburg as foreigners are forced to hide in police stations
Earthworms rain down from skies over Norway, puzzling scientists
18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
General Election 2015: Polish prince challenges Nigel Farage to a duel over immigration question
£30000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application ...
£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Domestic Service Only Engineers are requ...
£23600 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Employability Service withi...