Page last updated at 14:03 GMT, Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Man suspected of causing fatal fire dies in hospital

Patricia and Ben Philpotts
Police are not looking for anyone else in connection with the fire

A man suspected of starting a fire which led to the deaths of his wife and son in Cornwall has died from injuries he sustained in the fire.

Harold Philpotts, 47, suffered serious burns in the fire in Trevarrian, near Newquay, on 18 January and was being detained in hospital.

His wife, Patricia, 44, died in the fire and the couple's son, Ben, died in hospital a few hours later.

Cornwall's mental health authority said Mr Philpotts was known to them.

'Ripped apart'

A Devon and Cornwall Police spokesman said Mr Philpotts died in the early hours of the morning at Frenchay Hospital in Bristol and that a post-mortem examination would be carried out.

The spokesman said no-one else was being sought over the deaths.

The chief executive of the Cornwall Partnership Trust, which provides mental health services, said she was "deeply saddened" by the "tragic fire".

Lezli Boswell said Mr Philpotts was known to the trust and her thoughts and condolences were with the families involved.

Last week relatives of Mrs Philpotts and her son told of how their lives had been "ripped apart" by their deaths.

Mrs Philpotts was described as a "fantastic, outgoing and popular person, who worked hard and was a devoted mother, loving daughter and sister".

Ben, a pupil at Trevisker Community Primary School, was described by teaching staff as being a "very popular and much-loved member of the school community" and who had a "beaming smile, positive spirit" and who showed enthusiasm in everything he did.

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