Page last updated at 18:43 GMT, Saturday, 24 April 2010 19:43 UK

Boy arrested after children die in Buxton house fire

Fiona Adams, who escaped from the fire with her baby son
Fiona Adams pictured on social networking site bebo

A 17-year-old boy has been arrested after two young children were killed in a "suspicious" house fire in a Derbyshire town.

Fire crews were called to the terraced house in Edale Way, Buxton, shortly after 2345 BST on Friday.

A woman, 23, and her baby son escaped from a first floor window, but a girl, five, and a boy, two, died.

The eight-month-old baby and mother, named locally as Fiona Adams, are in hospital with severe burns.

The mother is currently in a specialist burns unit at Wythenshawe Hospital in Manchester.

A hospital spokesperson said her condition was "comfortable and stable".

It is thought she jumped with the baby from a rear window on to a trampoline in the garden.

'Robust investigation'

The baby has since been transferred to Royal Manchester Children's Hospital.

Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service and Derbyshire Police are conducting a joint investigation into the fire, which is being treated as suspicious.

Police said the teenager was arrested in the early hours of Saturday.

It's heartbreaking, I'm still in shock now
Neighbour Karen Jackson

Assistant Chief Constable Steve Cotterill said: "We do not know the cause of the fire yet but at this stage we are treating it as suspicious as, on the face of it, there is no apparent obvious accidental cause.

"This is to ensure a thorough and robust investigation into how it started.

"We are still at the early stages of the investigation but we have a number of lines of inquiry to follow and are keeping an open mind as to what has happened and who, if anyone, was responsible.

"We have only recently been able to gain access to the property for safety reasons and a full crime scene investigation is under way."

Previous disturbance

Police had previously been called to the house at 2245 BST on Friday after reports of noise and nuisance in the back garden, Mr Cotterill said.

Officers attended and found garden furniture had been disturbed but nothing else was found.


Assistant Chief Constable Steve Cotterill: ''My heart goes out to the family''

Mr Cotterill said because police had contact with the family prior to the fire breaking out the incident had been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

He said: "We are looking [into] whether there is any possible connection with this first call and the fire around an hour later.

"We can further confirm that police have previously been called to the premises over the last three years mainly in relation to domestic-related matters and on a couple of occasions in relation to reports of anti-social behaviour [and] damage."

Roof destroyed

Neighbour Karen Jackson said she had been at the scene in the early hours of Saturday.

She said: "They were brilliant, a lovely family. Everyone liked them, everyone. They didn't have any enemies.

"It's heartbreaking, I'm still in shock now. I just feel numb."

Floral tributes and teddy bears have been left at the scene. One read: "Sleep with the angels little darlings. God bless."

The end-of-terrace house has been cordoned off while investigations are carried out.

The fire burned through the roof and the upstairs windows and front door were destroyed.

Crews from north Derbyshire and Staffordshire attended the call.

Police have appealed for anyone with information about the fire to contact officers.

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Children die in 'suspicious' fire
24 Apr 10 |  Derbyshire

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