Stafford house fire Justgiving fund will go to boy, two

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-stoke-staffordshire-47238403

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A two-year-old who survived a house fire which killed his four siblings will be the main beneficiary of more than £30,000 raised to support his family, fundraisers have said.

An online appeal was set up in the wake of the blaze in Highfields, Stafford, on 5 February.

The toddler, named as Jack, was rescued from the fire.

A trust in charge of the fund said it would pay for the children's funerals, with the remainder going to Jack.

Riley Holt, eight, Keegan Unitt, six, Tilly Rose Unitt, four, and Olly Unitt, three, died in the blaze.

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The trust said the community's generosity was "overwhelming", with more than £30,000 being raised by almost 2,000 donors to the Justgiving page.

"The immediate issues faced by the trust are to ensure that monies are made available quickly to support any funeral and memorial costs for Riley, Keegan, Tilly-Rose and Olly," the trust said in a statement.

It added that it anticipates "a significant part of those costs" will be covered by local funeral directors, community groups, and Stafford Borough Council.

The children's mother, 24-year-old Natalie Unitt, and her partner, 28-year-old Chris Moulton, leapt from a first-floor window with Jack.

The cause of the fire is not yet known, however the force ruled out an exploding boiler and cannabis growth after online speculation.

Staffordshire Police arrested a 24-year-old woman and 28-year-old man on suspicion of manslaughter by gross negligence, but have been bailed and moved out of the area.

The trust said there are "many issues to be resolved" and offered reassurance that the funds will be safeguarded "until such time as there is sufficient clarity to consider how best to utilise the monies".

Inquests into the deaths will open on Friday.

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