Lancashire

Facebook appeal for Freckleton house fire siblings

Reece Smith, Holly Smith, Ella Smith and Jordan Smith
Image caption The four siblings died in a house fire in January

Police have launched a campaign on Facebook to appeal for information relating to the deaths of four siblings who died in a fire in Lancashire.

Reece Smith, 19, four-year-old twins Holly and Ella Smith and two-year-old Jordan Smith died in the fire in Freckleton on 7 January.

In the appeal, Det Supt Dermott Horrigan said he wanted to find out if the fire was started deliberately.

He has also released a mobile number, so he can be contacted directly.

Mr Horrigan said the fire was started by a naked flame inside the wardrobe which was in the children's bedroom.

"We know that the children were in bed and that whoever did this would have known that the children were inside that room," he said.

"What we are seeking to establish is whether the person responsible for this fire intended to harm the children or whether this was something that went wrong."

He added: "I have taken the unusual step of releasing a direct mobile number.

"I have done this as I understand that people may find it difficult to come forward and talk about this case, but I would say that if you do know what happened or you have some information for me, you can speak to me directly on 07852-108582."

Police believe the fire was started deliberately and are treating the deaths as murder.

Post-mortem tests found the siblings died from the effects of breathing in smoke.

An 18-year-old man arrested on suspicion of murder in January was bailed pending further inquiries.

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