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  1. ITV Report

Father and five children feared dead in house fire

A father and five children are believed to have died when a fire ripped through a farmhouse in Powys.

Dyfed-Powys Police said the children, aged between four and 11, were killed in the fire at Llangammarch Wells.

Officers said due to the severity of damage they are unable at this stage to identify those who have died. A team of fire and rescue search dogs and other fire brigade personnel arrived at the scene earlier to begin investigations.

A neighbour raised the alarm shortly after midnight on Monday. Three children, aged 13, 12, and 10, remain in hospital after they managed to escape with 'non-life threatening injuries'.

Specialist scientists and fire investigators continue to assess the scene which is described as "complex and perilous".

Our officers and all our partners such as the fire service are working in extremely challenging conditions and circumstances, and I thank and commend them for their efforts.

This is a tragic incident, and our deepest sympathies are with the family and all those affected.

– Dyfed Powys Police, Superintendent Jon Cummins

Father David Cuthbertson is thought to be the man who died in the fire.

Locals said Mr Cuthbertson, who lived in the area for decades, had around 17 children.

A local business owner, who did not wish to be named, said:

He was very close to his children from his second marriage, who lived nearby.

It is such a dreadful tragedy.

– local business owner

She had known Mr Cuthbertson for 25 years and said he cared for eight children at his farmhouse.

Another local woman said she also believed Mr Cuthbertson lived with eight young children.

Neighbour Ron Birchall, 73, who lives at the former Aberceiros Inn in the village, said:

He (Mr Cuthbertson) was a great guy.

All I can say is that he was a great father who loved his kids and doted on them.

– Neighbour, Ron Birchall

Flowers and tributes have been left near the scene of the devastating blaze and a fundraising page on the JustGiving website has received donations totalling over £6,000.

The cause of the fire is being treated as "unexplained".

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