Old 01-25-2011, 08:20 AM
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Four children have died after a horrific house fire in a quiet village after neighbours tried to brave the flames to save them.

The blaze broke out in Hulland Ward, near Ashbourne, Derbyshire, last night at 11.30pm and saw 999 crews rush to the scene.

Officers say it was only after the fire was put out that they realised four children - two boys aged nine and four and two girls aged six and two - had died.

It has now emerged the mother of the children, named locally as Rachel Henson, managed to get out of the house through a window but tried to get back in.

When fire crews arrived they managed to rescue two of the youngsters after a neighbour rang them after hearing screams for help.

Derbyshire Fire and Rescue service confirmed it had been called to a severe house fire at a semi-detached house on the village's Highfield Road.

Spokesman Gavin Tomlinson said: "The firefighters did manage to effect two rescues. They managed to get some of the children.

"It's quite distressing for all concerned, especially the family and the community.

"The fire started on the ground floor of the premises. I am aware the neighbours tried to get in to the ground floor but it was locked. The children were on the ground floor.

"The mother managed to escape through a window in the back of the property.

"We were alerted at 11.30pm by one of the neighbours who had heard cries for help and tried to assist."

"It may take a day or several days to find out what has happened."

Neighbours of the family on the street today said that they were devastated to hear of the deaths.

Brian Sellers, 63, said he thought their mother ran a hairdressing salon in Ashbourne and had lived in the house for ten years.

He said: "I was on a late shift last night and had just gone to bed when I heard people talking in the street.

"When I got to my window to see what was happening, smoke was coming out of their house.

"By the time the fire service arrived, the blaze was well on its way and I don't think they had much chance.

"It's a shock for everyone here. It just feels really strange."

Mr Sellers added that work had been done on the house's central heating in the past few weeks, which involved metal pipes being put down its chimney.

A spokesman for Derbyshire Police confirmed the deaths and said they were investigating what could have happened.

He said: "A 45-year-old woman was taken to the Royal Derby Hospital suffering from smoke inhalation.

"There is currently a joint investigation ongoing between Derbyshire Constabulary and Derbyshire Fire Service to establish the cause of the fire, which at this time is still unknown."

He added that there was also "significant damage" to the house.

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Old 01-25-2011, 08:31 AM
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Those poor kids must have been terrified.
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Old 01-25-2011, 09:07 AM
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so sad
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Old 01-25-2011, 07:25 PM
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that to me is THE worst way to die.

It gets to me hearing of adults dying that way, but children.....
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Old 01-25-2011, 07:46 PM
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It's always so sad when innocents, who have yet to experience life, must face death in the most horrible way imaginable
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Old 01-25-2011, 10:28 PM
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I can't even imagine the guilt the mother feels. Knowing she is alive but she left her babies to die. I would kill myself. And Im not blaming her, that is just how my mind would be working.
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Old 01-25-2011, 10:32 PM
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How do you rebuild your life after that?, probably never.
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