Page last updated at 15:12 GMT, Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Family speak of their grief over Cornwall fire deaths

Patricia and Ben Philpotts
The family of Patricia and Ben Philpotts say they are devastated by the loss

The family of a woman and her 10-year-old son who died after a fire broke out at their house in Cornwall have spoken of their shock and devastation.

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

In a statement, the family said that their lives had been "ripped apart".

The deaths are being treated as murder. A man has been detained in hospital where he is seriously ill with burns.

'Devoted mother'

The family statement, which was issued through Devon and Cornwall Police, said: "The tragic events that unfolded on Monday have left us totally shocked and devastated.

"It is hard to believe that our family has been ripped apart.

"Pat was a fantastic, outgoing and popular person, who worked hard and was a devoted mother, loving daughter and sister.

"She loved her son Ben who was an intelligent, happy and active boy. He loved sports, especially football where he played in a local Newquay team.

"As a family, we want to say how grateful we are to all of our neighbours and friends for their support.

"We are just trying to come to terms with the devastating tragedy and would appreciate some time to grieve in peace as a family."

The 47-year-old man detained in connection with the deaths is Ben's father and Mrs Philpotts' husband.

Police have said that he is expected to remain in hospital for some time.

Print Sponsor

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