Detectives investigating a fire in which six children died have arrested the children's parents on suspicion of murder.

The Derbyshire force confirmed that a 55-year-old man and a 31-year-old woman, who are from Derby, were arrested on Tuesday morning and though they have not yet been identified by police but it is thought they are Mick Philpott and his wife Mairead.

At a press conference on Tuesday the force's assistant chief constable, Steve Cotterill, said a couple had been arrested at 10am in Derby city centre and are being questioned on suspicion of murder.

A fierce fire broke out at the house in Allenton in the early hours of Friday 11 May, resulting in the deaths of six children.

ACC Steve Cotterill urged people with information to get in touch and told members of the press: "Please do the right thing for the six children who died in the fire. 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."

The fire was attended by five appliances, with the first on site within five minutes of the initial call. Crews gained access immediately and tackled a severe fire to reach the children on the first floor but were unable to rescue all of the Philpott's 17 children.

Derbyshire's Chief Fire Officer Sean Frayne praised his team's response to the incident but added: "We cannot have a fire-fighter in every room of every house to prevent such incidents."

The investigation continues.

Posted 30/05/2012 by