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Stafford house fire: Inquest into death of four children delayed again

By Jordan Reynolds | Stafford | Crime | Published:

The inquest into the deaths of four children who died in a house fire in Stafford is to be adjourned until the New Year.

Keegan, Tilly, Olly, and Riley, all died in the fire

The inquests of Riley John Holt, aged eight, Keegan Jonathan Unitt, aged six, Tilly Rose Unitt, aged four, and Olly Unitt aged three, had been set for December 19.

It has now been provisionally scheduled to take place on February 20, 2020 – more than a year after the fire which happened on February 5.

A police update on the investigation has also been delayed until the New Year, after police previously stating it would be this autumn.

An aerial view showing the damage to the house on Sycamore Lane

The inquests were opened earlier this year at Burton Town Hall and said the cause of their deaths was "yet to be ascertained".

Senior investigating officer, Detective Inspector Alan Lyford, said: “This has been a thorough and complex investigation involving our colleagues from Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service and other agencies.

“We are now working to bring this investigation to a conclusion and it has been necessary to adjourn the inquest before we can provide an update in the New Year.

The house has since been demolished

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“We appreciate this has been a lengthy process and that this tragic case has deeply affected the local community. We would again like to thank the community for their patience and support.”

A 25-year-old woman and a 29-year-old man arrested on suspicion of manslaughter by gross negligence following the fire have been released under investigation while inquiries continue.

The house on Sycamore Lane where the children died was gradually demolished and is being replaced with grassland.

Jordan Reynolds

By Jordan Reynolds
Reporter - @jreynolds_star

Senior reporter at the Express & Star.

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