Woman arrested on suspicion of murder after five children die in house fire
A WOMAN in her 20s has been arrested on suspicion of murder after five children died in a house fire.
The woman was arrested at a separate address after the blaze that broke out in the early hours of this morning while the children were asleep.
Fire crews were at the scene within three minutes of being called and managed to rescue all eight members of the family but the children died of smoke inhalation.
Police said they were keeping an open mind as to the cause of the incident but had made the arrest in order to secure evidence.
Temporary Chief Constable Steve Cotterill said: "This is a sad and tragic case. It would be wrong to speculate as to what is the cause. It is potentially a murder inquiry."
A sixth child aged 13 has been taken to hospital in Birmingham for specialist treatment.
Emergency services were called to the house on Victory Road in Allenton, Derby, just before 4am today.
Derbyshire Police said eight people, two adults and six children, were taken to the Royal Derby Hospital.
A spokesman added later: "Police can confirm that five children have died in a house fire on Victory Road, Derby.
"A sixth child aged 13 has been transferred to hospital in Birmingham for specialist treatment. The two adults are not seriously injured.
"The ages of the children who died range from five up to 10 years old. The investigation into the cause of the fire is at a very early stage and it would be wrong to speculate at this time.
"As the investigation continues further information will be released to the public. Anyone who can help the police inquiry into the incident should contact the police."
A joint investigation into the cause of the fire will be carried out by the police and fire service.
A force spokesman said Victory Road will be closed for several hours while officers carry out their inquiries.