1. ITV Report

Four children who died in Stafford house fire are named by police

  • Four children have died following a house fire in Stafford in the early hours of this morning.
  • Police have named them as Riley Holt, aged eight, Keegan Unitt, aged six, Tilly Rose Unitt, aged four, and Olly Unitt, aged three.
  • The cause of the fire has not yet been established.
  • Neighbours have described hearing explosions which sounded like fireworks.

The children who died in the house fire in the early hours of this morning have not been formally identified, but police say they are believed to be Riley Holt, aged eight, Keegan Unitt, aged six, Tilly Rose Unitt, aged four, and Olly Unitt, aged three.

A two-year-old survived the blaze along with his mother, Natalie Unitt, and her partner. They are being treated in hospital.

The house has a huge hole in its roof and blackened walls, and smoke was still drifting from the roof this morning.

Credit: PA

Emergency services were called to the address at 2.40am.

Credit: ITV News Central/Mark Gough
Credit: BPM Media

The fire is believed to have started at the rear of the house although the fire service are yet to confirm the cause.

A serious house fire in Sycamore Lane. Credit: ITV Central

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service are examining the house, as an investigation into the cause of the fire begins, police said.

Credit: BPM Media

Neighbours have described hearing explosions,

I was asleep when we all heard the explosion, myself, wife and dog.

We came downstairs and saw flames coming from the house, there were fire engines, ambulances and police on site quickly.

It was just horrible, hearing about those four little mites losing their life. It’s quite a quiet street and the family have only lived here around a year.

I heard another two explosions, they sounded like fireworks. I saw a lot of flames out the top windows then it seemed to die down, before it came out if the roof.

– Neighbour

Mourners have been leaving flowers.

Credit: ITV News Central

Two paramedic officers, three ambulances, the Trust’s Hazardous Area Response Team, the MERIT trauma team and a BASICS emergency doctor attended the scene along with police and fire colleagues.

Sorry, this content isn't available on your device.

Three occupants, two adults and a child, had managed to get out of the property.

All three patients were assessed and treated on scene by ambulance staff for non-life-threatening injuries before being taken to hospital for further care.

Tragically, four children from the property were confirmed dead on scene.

– West Midlands Ambulance Service spokeswoman

The local MP Jeremy Lefroy has tweeted his sympathies to all those affected.

Sorry, this content isn't available on your device.

Staffordshire County Council say,

I was shocked to hear the terrible news of the deaths of four children in the heart of our community.

We will support the family in any way and our thoughts and prayers are very much with all those who knew and loved these children and who now must cope with this tragic loss.

I would also thank all the emergency services for their work and professionalism in these devastating circumstances.

– Philip Atkins, Leader of Staffordshire County Council

More on this story