Salford house fire: Fourth child dies after blaze

The house where the fire took place. Credit: PA

A three-year-old girl whose three siblings were killed in a house fire in Salford has died in hospital.

Six people have been arrested, and three charged, in connection with the deaths.

The girl, named by police as Lia Pearson, was injured when a blaze broke out just before 5am on Monday morning at her terraced house in Jackson Street, Walkden.

Lia's 15-year-old sister Demi Pearson was pronounced dead at the scene, while her eight-year-old brother Brandon and seven-year-old sister Lacie later died in hospital.

Lia's grandmother, Sandra Lever, confirmed her death on Facebook on Wednesday afternoon, writing: "Just letting everyone know they just turned life machine off on Lia. She has passed away peacefully. My beautiful granddaughter, go find your brother, 2 sisters. Love you all so much."

Lacie, Brandon and Demi Pearson all died in the fire. Credit: Facebook

The children's 35-year-old mother, Michelle Pearson, is in a serious condition in hospital and not aware that her children have died.

Two 16-year-old boys, who cannot be named for legal reasons, managed to escape the fire.

Earlier on Wednesday, a man and a woman accused of murdering the three children in a house fire made their first appearance in court.

Zac Bolland, 23, and Courtney Brierley, 20, both from Worsley, have been charged with three counts of murder, four counts of attempted murder and one count of arson with intent to endanger life.

However, District Judge Khalid Qureshi said the matter was too serious to be dealt with in his jurisdiction, and will be heard again on Thursday at Manchester Crown Court.

David Worrall, 25, of Worsley Avenue, Worsley, was on Thursday charged with four counts of murder, three counts of attempted murder and one count of arson with intent to endanger life, Greater Manchester Police said.

He was in custody on Thursday morning and was due to appear at Manchester and Salford Magistrates' Court later in the day.

Two other men, aged 19 and 20, also arrested on suspicion of murder have been bailed, while a 24-year-old man arrested on suspicion of arresting an offender has also been bailed.

Michelle Pearson is in a medically induced coma in hospital. Credit: Facebook

Police confirmed there had been "earlier incidents" at the address and said the force had made a self-referral to the Independent Police Complaints Commission, due to contact with the family within 24 hours of the devastating fire.

Three hours earlier, police had attended the property to deal with a disturbance.

Chief Supt Wayne Miller, of Salford Police, has described the incident as ‘truly horrific’.

“This will devastate the family forever. Words cannot describe what they are going through.”

Emma Henderson, head teacher at Bridgewater Primary School, which Brandon and Lacie attended, said: "We are consoling our pupils and their families and send our deepest sympathies and prayers to all those affected."

Drew Povey, head of Harrop Fold School, where Demi was a pupil, said: "We are all truly devastated by the loss of precious life that our community has recently suffered. Words seem inadequate in these tragic circumstances.

"The spirit of Salford cannot and will not be crushed. We will work together to comfort and rebuild those lives that have been forever changed."

A crowdfunding page has been set up for the family.

  • Any with information on the incident should contact police on 0161 856 8797, or call 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.