Mid Wales

£560k cost of Llangammarch Wells fire probe after six die

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionDrone footage shows what was left of the remote farmhouse

A police investigation into a fire at a farmhouse in Powys which killed a father and five of his children has cost £560,000 and is likely to rise.

David Cuthbertson, 68, and his young children died in the blaze at Llangammarch Wells, on 30 October.

Dyfed-Powys Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn said the cost of the "complex" investigation would increase.

The force has been asked to comment.

The cause of the fire is being treated as unexplained and officers previously said the intensity of the blaze - which gutted the entire property - had made it "difficult to identify the bodies".

Retired builder Mr Cuthbertson died alongside his sons Just Raine, 11, Reef Raine, 10, and Patch Raine, six and his nine-year-old daughter Misty Raine.

A sixth body which was recovered has not yet been identified and scientific examinations are ongoing.

Image copyright Family photograph
Image caption David Cuthbertson lived at the house with his children

Three children aged 10, 12 and 13 who survived the fire suffered "significant trauma" and are receiving ongoing police support.

In a report into Dyfed-Powys Police's precept and budget for 2018-19, Mr Llywelyn said: "The force has had to deal with a significant and complex fire investigation at a remote property near Llangammarch Wells.

"Costs of £560k have already been committed to date in relation to this operation.

"The operation is ongoing and therefore the final cost that is covered by a reserves transfer is likely to rise further before the end of the 2017-18 financial year."

Officers previously said it could take weeks to establish the cause of the fire.

An operation to dismantle an estimated 260 tonnes of bricks and mortar is being conducted "brick by brick in order to preserve the evidence," said police.

Image caption The fire gutted the entire building

More on this story