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Tears, smiles for fire family

A church was packed-out yesterday as friends and family gathered to say their farewells to six children who died in a fire at their house.

Hundreds gathered for the requiem Mass at St Mary's Catholic Church in Derby for the service for Jade and her five brothers Duwayne, John, Jack, Jesse and Jayden, who were said to have doted on each other.

Tributes paid to the children -- whose bodies arrived at the church in individual horse-drawn carriages -- spoke of how they looked after each other.

Mourners were given yellow roses and flower rosettes with six petals, one for each child, blue for the boys and pink for Jade.

Their parents Mick (55) and Mairead Philpott, who have been charged with their murder following the blaze at the family home on May 11, were understood not to be at the funeral.

There were tears and laughter as the tributes were paid.

The eldest of the six, Duwayne, described as being a "ladies' man with queues of girls who fancied him", was said to have taken on the role of "protector" of his younger siblings.

Their sister Jade (10), who was described as a "beautiful princess", had also become like a "mother hen" to her siblings while the youngest, five-year-old Jayden, who was said to look up to his older brothers, was nicknamed the "miracle baby" after being born prematurely.

Mick and Mairead Philpott are being held in custody. They will go on trial charged with six counts of murder next January.

Irish Independent