Stafford house fire suspects cleared as blaze that killed four children confirmed as accidental

By Jordan Reynolds | Stafford | Crime | Published: | Last Updated:

No further action will be taken against a man and woman arrested over a house fire that killed four children in Stafford.

The house fire in Sycamore Lane, Stafford, which claimed the lives of four children

Eighteen months on from the tragic blaze, Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service investigators have confirmed that the fire in Sycamore Lane was accidental and caused by smoking materials.

And the Crown Prosecution Service has advised there will be no further action taken against a man, aged 30, and woman, aged 26, who were arrested on suspicion of manslaughter by gross negligence and released under investigation following the fire on February 5 2019.

Riley John Holt, aged eight, Keegan Jonathan Unitt, six, Tilly Rose Unitt, four, and Olly Unitt, three, were all found dead inside the two-storey end-terrace house after the fire broke out at around 2.30am.

Keegan, Tilly, Olly, and Riley, all died in the fire
Tributes to the children were left near the home

The children's mother Natalie Unitt and partner Chris Moulton survived after jumping out of a first-floor window with a fifth child, two-year-old Jack.

A large section of the roof collapsed, while windows were smashed and the inside appeared to have been blackened by smoke.

Detective Inspector Alan Lyford, of Staffordshire Police, who has led the investigation, said: “We appreciate this has been a lengthy process, but it was right and proper that this investigation was a thorough and complex one given the dreadful loss of four young lives.


“This tragic case has deeply affected the local community, who have rallied round to support the family. We would again like to thank the community for their patience and support.”

The house in Sycamore Lane has since been demolished

The inquest into the children's deaths will take place later this year, police have said.

The community rallied together after the tragedy and raised more than £30,000.

Hundreds of people attended a memorial in March last year and a vigil was held in February this year.

The house where the children died has since been demolished.

Jordan Reynolds

By Jordan Reynolds
Reporter - @jreynolds_star

Senior reporter at the Express & Star.

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