Devastating house fire that killed four young children was an accident started by ‘smoking materials’, probe finds as case against mother, 26, and father, 30, is dropped
- Fire last year ripped through the home of Natalie Unitt and Chris Moulton
- The mum, 26, and dad, 30, were then arrested on suspicion of manslaughter
- Now after 18 months of agony they have been cleared and will face no charges
- It came after fire investigators found blaze was started by smoking materials
Parents who were arrested after their four children were killed in a devastating fire have been cleared – after an investigation discovered the blaze had been started by smoking materials.
Natalie Unitt, 26, and her partner Chris Moulton, 30, had been held by police on suspicion of manslaughter by gross negligence after the accident at their home in Stafford in February last year
This morning the Crown Prosecution Service confirmed no action would be taken against the pair.
Parents Natalie Unitt, 26, and her partner Chris Moulton, 30, managed to escape the fire
It came after an 18-month investigation into the deaths of Riley John Holt, eight, Keegan Jonathan Unitt, six, Tilly Rose Unitt, four, and Olly Unitt, three.
Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service has now confirmed the fire was started by smoking materials.
Detective Inspector Alan Lyford, of Staffordshire Police, who has led the investigation, said: “We appreciate this has been a lengthy process, but it was right and proper that this investigation was a thorough and complex one given the dreadful loss of four young lives.
Keegan, Tilly, Olly and Riley, died in the devastating blaze in February last year
“This tragic case has deeply affected the local community, who have rallied round to support the family.
‘We would again like to thank the community for their patience and support.”
The fire ripped through the family’s terraced property just after 2.40am
The tragic deaths of the children prompted an outpouring of grief in the Stafford community
Fire crews at the scene of the fatal house fire dealing with the smouldering house
Both leapt from the first-floor window with their youngest child, then two, after the an inferno broke out at their home in Stafford on Tuesday
Neighbours described how Natalie and Chris, dad to three of the dead children, watched distraught on the street as the house blazed.
It sent shockwaves through the Stafford community with vigils, processions and tributes held in memory of the youngsters.
An inquest into their deaths is now set to take place later this year.
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