Stafford house where four children died in a fire to be demolished

Written by on June 6, 2019

The house where four children lost their lives in a fire is due to be demolished.

Riley Holt, eight, Keegan Unitt, six, Tilly Rose Unitt, four, and Olly Unitt, three, died in a blaze at their family home in Stafford on 5 February.

Stafford Borough Council’s structural engineers said it was “unfit for occupation” due to extensive internal smoke and fire damage.

Owners Stafford and Rural Homes (SARH) said it had consulted the family.

The cause of the blaze is under investigation, but Staffordshire Police ruled out an exploding boiler and cannabis growth.

Planning documents state the three-bedroom terrace on Sycamore Lane, in the Highfields area of Stafford, could be demolished from 10 June.

“A report produced by our appointed structural engineer has highlighted extensive damage to the structure of the building rendering it a health and safety risk in its current state and unfit for occupation,” it states.

“It is on this basis that our structural engineer has advised the most appropriate course of action is to demolish the existing building.”

Karen Armitage, the chief executive of SARH, a social landlord, said it “considered very seriously the decision to demolish 2 Sycamore Lane following the tragedy”.

“Family members have been consulted throughout and key stakeholders are being kept up to date with our plans,” Ms Armitage said.

The children’s mother, Natalie Unitt, and her partner Chris Moulton, survived the fire along with the siblings’ two-year-old brother, Jack.

A 24-year-old woman and a man, 28, who were arrested on suspicion of manslaughter by gross negligence, have been released by police while inquiries continue.

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Updates from the Cannock Chase Radio News Desk via BBC Stoke and Staffordshire


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