Manchester

IPCC to examine police response to fire woman's calls

Scene of fatal house fire in Broadheath
A four-year-old boy was rescued from an upstairs bedroom

The police watchdog is to investigate how Greater Manchester Police dealt with calls from a woman before a fire apparently caused by an ex-partner.

Tracy Jones contacted GMP five times in four weeks before Monday's blaze at her house in Altrincham.

Ms Jones and two children are still critically ill after the fire in which her ex-partner David Potts died. Another son also died of his injuries.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) will review the case.

IPCC Commissioner Naseem Malik said: "Our assessment of the initial evidence suggests the five contacts with the police were handled appropriately by the officers involved."

'Public interest'

But he added: "We believe given the seriousness of the incident it is in the public interest to examine each of these contacts in detail and, in particular, analyse what liaison and information-sharing occurred between Greater Manchester Police and the other agencies involved in the matters involving Ms Jones and Mr Potts."

Ms Jones, and her children Cailin Van Straaten, 18, and Zachary, four, remain in hospital. Her other son, Shaun Van Straaten, 15, died on Wednesday from injuries suffered in the fire.

Mr Potts, 39, reportedly set himself alight at Ms Jones' house in Barlow Road in Broadheath.

GMP said it was a treating as a "line of inquiry" local reports that Mr Potts had recently split up with Ms Jones.

The fire is being treated as suspicious but police are not looking for anyone else in connection with the blaze.

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