A murder investigation has been launched after a baby and a toddler died in a flat fire in Nottingham.
Emergency services were called to reports of a fire in Fairisle Close, Clifton, at 3.17am today after a fire broke out in the first-floor flat of a two-storey property.
An initial joint fire and police investigation concluded the fire was started deliberately.
A woman and two young children were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation and taken to Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham.
The two children, aged three and one, were pronounced dead at the hospital.
The woman remains in a critical condition.
Neighbouring properties were temporarily evacuated as fire crews tackled the blaze, which was eventually extinguished approximately 40 minutes later, at 4am.
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.
“We have a team of detectives who are working hard to establish the circumstances and our inquiries remain in their early stages.”
Appeal for witnesses
Members of the public with information are encouraged to submit this through the Major Incident Public Portal.
Inspector Ben Lawrence, of Nottinghamshire Police, said 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.”
Nottingham City Council leader, Councillor David Mellen, said: “I am so saddened to hear this tragic news. The loss of two young children is completely heartbreaking.
“We’ll do all we can to support the family and community at this deeply upsetting time.”
Nottingham’s fire service confirmed it was conducting a joint investigation alongside police.
Group Manager Chris Clark said: “All of our thoughts are with the family of those involved and we send our deepest condolences.
“Alongside the police, we are working on investigating the cause of this fire and tragic loss of life.”
Anyone with information that could assist the investigation is asked to submit it to the Public Portal (mipp.police.uk).
If you would prefer to speak to police, please call 101 and ask for Nottinghamshire Police quoting incident 0110_20112022.
Alternatively, contact the independent crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through their anonymous online form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.