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5:56pm UK, Tuesday May 29, 2012
The parents of six children killed in an arson attack on their home have been arrested on suspicion of murder.
Mick Philpott, 55, and his wife Mairead, 31, have been detained in connection with the attack on the house in Derby.
They are in custody and will be questioned by officers.
The fire broke out at the house, in Victory Road, Allenton, in the early hours of Friday, May 11.
:: May 11: Jade Philpott, 10, and brothers John, nine, Jack, eight, Jessie, six and Jayden, five, killed in blaze on Victory Road, Derby.
All the victims were asleep in upstairs rooms of the house when the fire broke out in early hours.
A 28-year-old woman and man, 38 are arrested on suspicion of murder on the same day but later released without charge.
:: May 14: Another brother, Duwayne, 13 dies in hospital from injuries sustained in the fire.
:: May 16: Parents Mick Philpott, 55, and wife Mairead, 31, weep uncontrollably at emotional press conference as they thank emergency services who fought to save their children.
Police reveal petrol was used to start the blaze, which originated underneath the family home’s letterbox.
:: May 18: Coroner Dr Robert Hunter opens inquest and calls on local community to “search their conscience” and contact police with any information to help catch those responsible.
:: May 29: The Philpotts are arrested in Derby on suspicion of murdering their children.
Duwayne Philpott, 13, Jade Philpott, 10, and brothers John Philpott, nine, Jack Philpott, seven, Jessie Philpott, six, and Jayden Philpott, five, all died as a result of the fire.
At a news conference Derbyshire Police Assistant Chief Constable Steve Cotterill asked people to come forward with any information about the fire.
“Please don’t see these two arrests as the police inquiry coming to an end, this is not the case,” he said.
He had earlier issued a statement in which he said: “I suspect there may still be people with crucial information who have not yet come forward to speak to us.
“They have my personal reassurance that we will deal with their information sensitively.
“We still need information to help us in this inquiry. The latest arrests are just one step further in the investigation.
“It is absolutely vital that if you know anything you think could help us, come forward now, do not wait any longer. It is important that we find justice for these six young children.”
He added that the investigation would be lengthy, and urged the local community to be patient.
“Although the fire happened more than two weeks ago, this is a complex inquiry and it will take time for us to piece together the events from that tragic evening.
“I know this case has deeply affected the local community and residents want answers as to what happened and why.
“But I would ask them to be patient and to continue to show the excellent support they have given us to date. Our investigations are detailed and painstaking and they will take time.”
A 38-year-old man and a 28-year-old woman, who were arrested on suspicion of murder shortly after the fire, were released without charge the following day.
Mr Philpott and his wife faced the media at a news conference five days after the fire.
Five children died in hospital, and a sixth later passed away in hospital
He repeatedly wiped away tears as he thanked those who tried to rescue his children and members of the local community for their support.
Talking to reporters for about two and a half minutes, Mr Philpott repeatedly paused to compose himself and said he and his wife had decided to donate Duwayne’s organs for transplant.
Tributes and gifts, which remain outside the house more than two weeks after the fire, are being moved with the family’s agreement. They will be put into a nearby church because of the likelihood of rain.