A Horror Blaze that Killed 4 Young Children, was Most Likely Caused by a Discarded Cigarette an Inquest has Reported.
An inquest into the tragic deaths of 4 young children, in Stafford, on February 5th, 2020, has concluded that the fire was most probably started by a cigarette that had been discarded, according to a report by Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service, which then set fire to the main bedroom, before spreading to the landing where the rooms of the 4 children were, and that their causes of death were from the fumes of the smoke inhalation.
Siblings, Riley Holt aged 8, Keegan Unitt aged 6, Tilly Rose Unitt aged 4, and Olly Unitt aged 3, all died in the fire, and an inquest revealed reports that their parents, Natalie Unitt and Christopher Moulton, had been smoking in bed, despite previous warnings from social services, and they had initially been arrested on suspicion of gross negligence and manslaughter, but police have confirmed that after a file had been passed to the Crown Prosecution Service, the charges had been dropped and no action was being taken against them.
At the coroner’s court hearing, on Thursday 12th November, the parents had denied any wrongdoing but eventually admitted they had been smoking in bed.
They recounted how Ms. Unitt had woken to discover the room on fire, describing a feeling of a “heaviness” in her chest, and Mr. Moulton had tried to reach the children’s rooms but was beaten back by the flames, suffering serious burns to his hands as a result.
“I still have nightmares about it now,” said Ms. Unitt, and stated she has no real recollection of the incident as she had been suffering since the fire, from post-traumatic stress.
Andrew Haigh, the South Staffordshire coroner, in his summing up on the case, stated the children’s deaths were caused by inhaling the smoke fumes, caused by a discarded cigarette, and describing their deaths as “tragic”, he continued, “My hope is the children died quite peacefully in their beds.”