Page last updated at 21:50 GMT, Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Murder inquiry into woman and son fire deaths

Trevarrian bungalow
A detailed forensic examination is being carried out at the bungalow

The deaths of a woman and her 10-year-old son as a result of a house fire in Cornwall are being investigated as a murder inquiry, police have said.

The body of Patricia Philpotts, 44, was found after the fire in Trevarrian, near Newquay, on Monday. Her son, Ben, died in hospital following the fire.

A 47-year-old man being treated for burns in a Bristol hospital is being detained in connection with the deaths.

Tributes have been paid to Ben by his staff and pupils at his school.

Fire crews from Newquay and St Columb were called to the bungalow after the fire started at about 0600 GMT on Monday.

Two other people who were in the property were unharmed.

'Much-loved' boy

Devon and Cornwall Police said officers from its major crime investigation team were conducting the inquiry and forensic examinations were still being carried out at the property.

The 47-year-old man, Ben's father and Mrs Philpotts' husband, has been detained in connection with the deaths. He is being treated for severe burns at a hospital in Bristol.

Police said he was in a serious condition and was likely to remain in hospital for some time.

The head teacher of Trevisker Community Primary School said everyone at the school was "shocked and saddened" by Ben's death.

Rosalind Adams said: "Ben was a very popular and much-loved member of the school community.

"Along with his outstanding academic abilities, Ben was a keen member of the school football team and was a natural sportsman.

"He was a positive spirit and showed enthusiasm in everything he undertook.

"Class teachers will always remember Ben with his hand eagerly in the air and a beaming smile. He shall be greatly missed."



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SEE ALSO
Mother and son killed in 'arson'
18 Jan 10 |  Cornwall

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This is Cornwall Murder inquiry in fatal fire deaths - 1 hr ago
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