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  1. ITV Report

Memorial service celebrates the lives of four children killed in Stafford house fire

Credit: ITV News Central

A memorial service for four siblings who died in a house fire in Stafford has heard moving tributes to the children.

Riley Holt, eight, Keegan Unitt, six, Tilly Rose Unitt, four, and three-year-old Olly Unitt, were killed in a blaze in the Highfields Estate on 5 February.

A private funeral for the four siblings was held earlier this month.

Today, hundreds of people gathered at St Mary's Church to celebrate their short lives.

  • Revered Philip Sowerbuttts, who is leading the service, says we want to remember the children in a "hopeful, life-affirming" way:

These children, their lives were cut tragically short and it has been a sadness to all of us in the community.

However, we want to remember them in a hopeful, life-affirming way.

So that's why in tonight's service we are hoping to do just that, celebrate what was special about these children.

– Reverend Philip Sowerbuttts
Credit: ITV News Central

Community members who attended the memorial service were asked to wear brightly-coloured clothing and bring teddy bears.

The children's school choirs sang and both headteachers gave tributes.

Donations have been made in the children's names to several Staffordshire emergency service charities.

  • Steve Glover, who has helped to organise the memorial, says the community spirit has been really strong:

The cause of the fire is not yet known.

A 24-year-old woman and a 28-year-old man, who were arrested on suspicion of manslaughter by gross negligence, have been released while inquiries continue.