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11:17am UK, Saturday May 12, 2012
The deaths of five children in a house fire has prompted neighbours of the bereaved family to start a fund to help pay for funerals.
Mick Philpott desperately tried to save his children
Jade, 10, John, nine, Jack, seven, Jessie, six, and five-year-old Jaydon Philpott were killed as a blaze ripped through their home in Derby, yesterday morning.
Their 13-year-old brother Duwayne remains in a critical condition in a Birmingham hospital with his parents at his bedside.
A 28-year-old woman and a man, 38, remain in custody on suspicion of murder.
Friends of the family want to raise enough money to help pay for the five funerals.
The fund is being supported by Father Alan Burbidge, from St George’s Catholic Church, where the children took holy communion.
And a service dedicated to the children was held this morning.
“We are happy to be one of the contributing members and if any help needed,” Father Burbidge told Sky News.
“I have just taken a call from an undertaker in Nottingham who has offered five coffins.
“There has been a lot of interest and support.”
Allenton resident Jon Morris
“It is wonderful at such a terrible time for people to think of the family in this way and start a fund,” he added.
“If people want the church to be a focal point for that, then I will do all I can to help.”
Councillors in Derby have also pledged their support.
Police say their investigation is moving along at a rapid pace as forensic teams continue their work at the house where the five children died.
Post-mortem examinations will be carried out over the weekend.
The children’s father Mick Philpott is said to have made a “valiant attempt” to save the siblings. He has fathered 17 children in all and has been the subject of a television documentary involving former Tory MP Anne Widdecombe.