Murder probe as kids aged 1 and 3 die in flat fire and woman fights for life

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    A murder investigation has been launched after two children died and a woman was left critically injured in a fire at a flat in Nottingham, Nottinghamshire Police said.

    Police said in a statement: "A murder investigation is under way after two children died and a woman left in a critical condition following a flat fire.

    "Emergency services were called to reports of a fire in Fairisle Close, Clifton, at 3.17am today (Sunday 20 November 2022).

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    "The fire was in a first floor flat of a two-storey residential property. Neighbouring properties were temporarily evacuated as fire crews tackled the blaze, which was extinguished at around 4am.

    "A woman and two young children were treated at the scene by EMAS for smoke inhalation and taken to Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham. Sadly the two children, aged three and one, were pronounced dead at the hospital. The woman remains in a critical condition."

    Detective Chief Inspector Greg McGill, who is leading the investigation, said: “These are tragic and very sad circumstances and my thoughts are with the family of those involved.

    “Following a joint investigation with Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service we have established that the fire was started deliberately. We are appealing for witnesses who were in the area at that time and saw something suspicious to please come forward and help us with the investigation.

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    "We have a team of detectives who are working hard to establish the circumstances and our inquiries remain in their early stages.” Any members of the public who have any information are encouraged to submit this through the Major Incident Public Portal.

    Inspector Ben Lawrence, of Nottinghamshire Police, has warned that members of the local community should expect a high presence of officers in the area whilst a scene remains in place and inquiries continue. He said: “This tragic incident has resulted in two children sadly losing their lives and my thoughts, first and foremost, are with their loved ones at this time.

    “We understand residents living nearby will be shocked by this news and have concerns about what happened. We will continue to maintain a policing presence in the area and we will be working to reassure them as best we can in the coming days. If anyone has any concerns I'd encourage them to speak to one of our officers.”

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    Group Manager for Prevention at Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service, Chris Clark, added: “All of our thoughts are with the family of those involved and we send our deepest condolences.

    “Alongside the police we will now investigate the cause of this fire and tragic loss of life. We recognise what has happened will be deeply distressing for the local community, and we will be in the area to offer reassurance to residents over the coming days.”

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    Firefighters using breathing apparatus worked until 4am to extinguish the blaze.

    The fire was in a first floor flat of a two-storey residential property. Whilst crews tackled the fire, neighbouring properties had to be temporarily evacuated.

    Neighbour Lauren Richardson, 31, told Nottinghamshire Live: "I saw them being pulled out which was very upsetting, so I hope they are all okay. It was traumatic to see as a mum, and I also had to go get my daughter and her friends who were having a sleepover – they were upset too.

    "I was having a few drinks with friends at the time and my friend thought one of the candles had gone out, but when we looked out of the garden we saw all the black smoke."

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