Cause of Powys farmhouse fire which killed father and five children 'unexplained'

Gypsy Raine, four, Patch Raine, six, Misty Raine, 9, Reef Raine, 10 and Just Raine, 11 all died in the fire. (From clockwise top left.) Credit: Athena Picture Agency

An investigation into a Powys farmhouse fire which killed a father and his five of his children has failed to find what caused the blaze, an inquest has heard.

Dave Cuthbertson, 68, died in the fire alongside children Just Raine, 11, Reef Raine, 10, Misty Raine, nine, Patch Raine, six, and Gypsy Raine, four.

The fire took hold of the remote Poityn Farm near Llangammarch Wells on October 30 2017.

The hearing today, in Welshpool, was told the fire may have begun when embers fell from a logburner - but there were "a number of possible sources" for the blaze.

Powys coroner Andrew Barkley said the exact cause of that fire is as yet unexplained.

The farmhouse in Llangammarch Wells Credit: ITV Wales

Three children Leaf, 13, Blue, 12, and Farr, 11, survived after escaping the fire and ran to a neighbours house where they raised the alarm.

David Cuthbertson died in the fire with his five children. Credit: South Wales Police/ Family photo

A fire investigator told the inquest there were a number of objects found in the ruins of Poityn Farm including cigarette lighters, candle holders, and hundreds of metres of electrical wires which had been "daisy-chained".

Richard Hancock, manager of the fire investigation team at Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue, said extension blocks could overheat and ignite if added to an original block.

Flowers left close to the scene in Llangammarch Wells, Powys. Credit: PA

One of Mr Cutherbertson's children had suggested that the house smelled of gas in the lead up to the blaze.

But the inquest was told that investigators have ruled out a gas leak as the cause of the fire, as they would have expected to see an "explosion more than a fire".

The inquest was told copper pipes on a radiator had melted, meaning the temperature inside the farmhouse during the blaze would have exceeded 1,085 degrees.

Firefighters who attended the blaze were unable to enter the property due to a combination of extreme heat and risk of collapse.

Roger Smith, crew manager of the Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service appliance which first responded to the emergency, said the farmhouse was "fully on fire".

Dyfed-Powys Police told the inquest they are still investigating the cause of the fire.

Detective Inspector Adam Ellis said a "number of enquiries" were still to be made.

Police have not seen evidence of any involvement by a third party, but they could not rule out the possibility of "foul play".

Following today's inquest, Dyfed Powys Police said that they hoped the hearing had brought "some answers and an element of peace to the family".

The family thanked the emergency services for their "hard work and dedication".

A fundraising page to raise money for the family has now raised more than £23,500.