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Stafford fire house where four children died ready for demolition

By Richard Guttridge | Stafford | News | Published:

A house where four children died in a devastating fire is being prepared for demolition.

The house in Highfields, Stafford, which is set to be demolished

Scaffolding has been put up around the scene of the tragedy in Stafford where Riley Holt, aged eight, Keegan Unitt, six, Tilly Rose Unitt, four, and three-year-old Olly Unitt lost their lives.

Workmen have moved in ready to raze the property, which was destroyed when the fatal fire ripped through it in the early hours of February 5.

Left to right: Keegan, six, Tilly, four, Olly, three, and Riley, eight, all died in the fire. Baby brother Jack survived.

The children's mother Natalie Unitt and her partner Chris Moulton escaped the blaze alongside their two-year-old son Jack after they jumped out of a first-floor window.

The housing association-owned house on Sycamore Lane, in the Highfields area of Stafford, has since been assessed by a structural engineer who deemed it to be "unfit for occupation". It is expected to be torn down this week.

A large part of the roof collapsed during the fire
An aerial view of the covered-up house in Sycamore Lane

The home, timber fence and a nearby tree will all be cleared and replaced with grassland.

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The boundary wall with the neighbouring home will also be torn down, along with part of the neighbouring house's roof.

Four months on from the tragedy, investigations into the cause of the blaze are ongoing. Rumours of a cannabis fire and a boiler defect were quickly ruled out by police.

A memorial service for the children was held in St Mary's Church

A 25-year-old woman and a 29-year-old man were arrested on suspicion of manslaughter by gross negligence three days after the fire but were released under investigation.

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The funeral of the four children took place at Stafford Crematorium in March after two horse-drawn carriages carrying their coffins passed through the town.

Memorial services were held around Stafford as the community pulled together to support the family, while more than £30,000 was raised for them. The money is being put in a trust for young Jack.

More on this story:

Richard Guttridge

By Richard Guttridge
Chief Reporter - @RichG_star

Chief Reporter for the Express & Star, based in Wolverhampton.

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