Police rule out boiler defect or cannabis farm behind cause of fatal Stafford fire

Staffordshire Police have addressed rumours about the cause of a house fire in Stafford, which claimed the lives of four young children.

Riley Holt, aged eight, Keegan Unitt, aged six, Tilly Rose Unitt, aged four, and Olly Unitt, aged three, died in the blaze on Sycamore Lane in the Highfields areas of the town in the early hours of Tuesday morning (5 February).

Officers have spoken out, following speculation on social media about how the fire started.

Detective Inspector Alan Lyford said: “This is a complex ongoing investigation and, while we appreciate there is a demand for answers, our primary aim is to understand exactly what happened in this tragic fire."

DI Lyford said that, following preliminary findings from fire investigators, he had taken the decision to rule out several rumours which had spread locally. 

“We do not believe that a boiler defect was responsible and we can confirm there is no truth in rumours that cannabis was being grown at the property and may have been a cause," he added.

“We’d again like to thank people for their patience, but kindly ask that people do not speculate as such comments can be misleading to an investigation as well as causing upset.” 

A 24-year-old woman and a 28-year-old man arrested on suspicion of manslaughter by gross negligence following the fire have been bailed while enquiries continue. 

The man and woman arrested are living at an address out of the area.

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