Stoke & Staffordshire

Stafford house fire: Cannabis and boiler ruled out as causes of blaze

The four children and their sibling Image copyright Police handout
Image caption (L-R) Keegan, Tilly Rose, Olly and Riley died in the blaze in the early hours of 5 February

A house fire which killed four children was not caused by cannabis growth or a boiler exploding, police have said.

Riley Holt, eight, Keegan Unitt, six, Tilly Rose Unitt, four, and Olly Unitt, three, died in the blaze in Highfields in Stafford last Tuesday.

Staffordshire Police said they had ruled out both as possible causes of the fire amid speculation online.

A woman, 24, and a man, 28, arrested on suspicion of manslaughter by gross negligence, have been bailed.

A spokesman for the force told the BBC they could "rule out cannabis growth [sic] and also do not believe the boiler is involved" after social media speculation mounted over the cause of the fire.

They said investigative work was ongoing.

The woman and man are currently living at an address out of the area. They were detained by officers at about 13:30 GMT on Friday and have been bailed until March.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The family are being supported by specialist police officers

The children's 24-year-old mother, Natalie Unitt, and her 28-year-old partner, Chris Moulton, leapt from a first-floor window with the siblings' two-year-old brother, Jack, during the fire.

They did not sustain life-threatening injuries.

A fundraising page for the family has since raised over £30,000 - with more than 1,900 people donating.

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