A TOP detective is pleading for witnesses to a fire which killed four children to “have the courage to call the police”.
Six months on from the tragic blaze in Freckleton, Det Supt Dermott Horrigan says the family of 19-year-old Reece Smith, four-year-old twin girls Holly and Ella Smith and Jordan Smith, aged two, need answers about how and why they lost their loved ones.
He said: “The loss of one person is tragic enough but to lose four children, especially so young, has been awful for the family.
“They are longing to know what happened, why it happened and who is responsible.
“Six months on from that dreadful night I’m asking for someone who knows crucial information to have the courage to make that call and tell us what they know.”
The siblings all died from smoke inhalation following the fire, which broke out at their home on Lytham Road on January 7 during a party to celebrate their mother’s 36th birthday.
Reece bravely battled to save his siblings, who were asleep in the attic of the converted bungalow, but he also became overwhelmed by the flames.
Police believe the blaze was started deliberately in a wardrobe in a bedroom where the children were sleeping.
Det Supt Horrigan added: “We are a lot clearer now than we were six months ago.
“We have made good progress already but I believe there is someone out there who will know.
“It may well be whoever was responsible for lighting the flame, did not realise a fire like this could take hold as quickly as it did.
“I’m quite satisfied about who was in the house at the time the fire took hold and developed.
“I’m not looking for some unknown individual who may have been in the house at that key time.”
An 18-year-old man arrested in connection with the investigation remains on police bail.
Det Supt Horrigan added: “There is an individual on police bail and a lot of inquiries have been carried out.
“But I am keeping an open mind about all individuals. In the coming weeks and months we will continue to delve deep.
“I want to understand what took place and I’m not there with pre-conceived ideas of how the fire started.”
- Anyone with information is asked to call the Major Incident Room at Blackpool Police Station on non-emergemncy number 101.