Teen re-bailed in fatal blaze probe

The scene of the blaze and (below) Det Supt Dermott Horrigan.
The scene of the blaze and (below) Det Supt Dermott Horrigan.
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A TEENAGER arrested on suspicion of murder following a fatal house fire in Freckleton has been re-bailed as detectives follow up new lines of inquiry.

The 18-year-old, from Lytham, was due to speak to police on Monday but detectives have now extended his bail until December.

Det Supt Dermott Horrigan

Det Supt Dermott Horrigan

Det Supt Dermott Horrigan, who is leading the investigation, said his team of officers are determined to uncover the truth behind the blaze, which killed 19-year-old Reece Smith, four-year-old twins Holly and Ella Smith and Jordan Smith, aged two.

He said: “We have extended his bail until mid-December given some of the on-going work we have got.

“We have had a couple of lines of inquiry which have come in and, because of the on-going work, I arranged some more time through the custody desk at Blackpool.

“It’s right and proper that we identify what occurred that night and where the responsibility for what happened lies.

“It is terribly shocking for the family and we are determined to give them the answers they need.”

The siblings died from smoke inhalation after a wardrobe was allegedly set on fire in a bedroom where the children were sleeping at their mother Michelle Smith’s house on Lytham Road, Freckleton on Saturday, January 7.

The family were celebrating Ms Smith’s 36th birthday with friends when the tragedy happened.

Reece tried to save his younger siblings but died after becoming overpowered by smoke from the flames.

Police have been following up an additional line of inquiry which surfaced following an appeal on Crimewatch last month when a caller named an individual in connection with the blaze.

Det Supt Horrigan added: “We have got some information in that we have done some work on and we continue to do so.

“We are also working with fire experts to develop the picture of what happened and how the fire developed.

“But if anyone else feels they have anything they would like to tell us, I would urge them to get in touch.”

The 18-year-old man arrested on suspicion of murder has been bailed until December 17.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Major Incident Room at Blackpool Police Station by calling 101.

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