Derby house fire: father speaks of losing six children
THE father of six children killed in a house fire broke down in tears today as he spoke for the first time since the tragedy took place.
Mick Philpott hugged his wife Mairead, mother of the children, as he described the "overwhelming" support since the fire ravaged their home.
It also emerged that petrol had been used as an accelarant and the start of the fire was below the letterbox in the front door.
Earlier, the brother of six children killed in a house fire has called for justice.
14-year-old Mikey Philpott said losing his half-siblings, Duwayne, 13, Jade, 10, John, nine, Jack, seven, Jessie, six and five-year-old Jaydon had been “tearing us to pieces”.
His father, Mick Philpott, is to due hold a press conference today to appeal for help in catching the person who started the fire.
Police believe the blaze, at the Philpott's house in Derby, was started deliberately and have already questioned two people on suspicion of murder before releasing them without charge.
Mikey, whose mum, Heather Kehoe, is a former girlfriend of Mr Philpott’s, said he had first heard about the fire when he turned on the news at 6.30am on Friday.
He said: “It's tearing us to pieces that they have gone just like that. It's been really hard to take it all in. I've broke down a few times.
"I'd like justice for my brothers and sisters more than anything - it is strung out that someone can just do something like that."
He said: "I knew there was something wrong as soon as I saw there had been a fire on Victory Road in Derby.
"I rang my dad, and it went straight to voicemail, then I rang Mairead, my step-mum, and there was nothing. Then I ran my step-brother, Richard, and went straight off to hospital. Everyone was around us.
"The support we have had in so far, from everyone, is amazing. I was pretty close to my brothers and sisters. I didn't realise how close until I lost them.
"Duwayne was a great brother. I spent a lot of time fishing with him at weekends. Jade was a proper daddy's girl, always smiling. You could never get John to shut up, bless him. He was really playful.
"Then there was Jessie. You couldn't get five minutes alone without her, she was always clinging on to your leg. It was the same with Jaden. Jack was like me, a proper computer nerd, always on his Nintendo DS."
The teenager, who lives with his godfather added: "They were a lovely bunch, I really miss them. They were like my best friends, always there for me and keeping a smile on my face. But now they are not here.
"I am in touch with my other brothers and sisters, we are sending little updates and messages asking how we are all doing. I talk to my dad when I can.
"It has just been really, really hard for all of us. I'm struggling more than anything."
Detectives are continuing to appeal for witnesses to the fire, which started in the early hours of Friday morning and claimed the lives of all six children in the house.
They have been delayed in talking to Mr and Mrs Philpott, who survived the blaze, because Duwayne was on a life support machine until Monday.
Local businessmen have offered a €5000 reward for any information leading to a conviction in the case.