Tuesday 24 October 2017

Sixth child in Derby house fire loses his battle for life

Martin Evans and Nick Britten

DUWAYNE Philpott, 13, had been fighting for his life in Birmingham Children’s Hospital since Friday when a fire swept through his family home in Derby in England.

His parents Mairead and Mick Philpott, who have been keeping a vigil at his bedside, agreed to switch off his life support machine after doctors said he would not survive.

The fire claimed the lives of Duwayne's four brothers, John, 9, Jack, 7, Jessie, 6, and Jayden, 5, as well as his 10-year-old sister Jade.

Assistant Chief Constable Steve Cotterill of Derbyshire Police said: “Duwayne suffered serious injuries in the fire; tragically he is unlikely to survive. Mr and Mrs Philpott remain at their son’s bedside and my thoughts are with them at this distressing time.”

Police are treating the blaze as suspicious and have appealed for anyone who may have seen anything suspicious near the home in Victory Road, Derby to contact them.

A 28-year-old woman and a 38-year-old man, both from Derby, who were arrested in connection with the fire were released without charge.

ACC Cotterill said: “This investigation is still at an early stage and it should be stressed that we have not yet had the opportunity to speak to Mr and Mrs Philpott properly because they’ve been caring for their son in Birmingham.

“I want to thank the local community who have already come forward but I would urge anyone with any information, regardless of how insignificant you think it may be, to contact us.

“We would specifically like to speak to anyone who was in or around Victory Road between 3am and 4am on Friday morning.”

It is thought eight people were living in the property when the fire broke out in the early hours.

The adults were able to escape but the children who had been asleep upstairs became trapped.

Mr Philpott, who is understand to have 17 children, made valiant efforts to rescue those trapped inside but was beaten back by flames and smoke.

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