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£30,000 raised for Stafford fire family to go to boy who survived

UK News | Published:

A boy named by trustees as two-year-old Jack escaped from a first-floor window.

More than £30,000 raised for the family of four children who died in a house fire is to be put into a trust to help their two-year-old brother.

The trustees of funds raised on a JustGiving page said their immediate priority was to make sure money is made available to support any funeral and memorial costs for Riley Holt, eight, Keegan Unitt, six, Tilly Rose Unitt, four, and three-year-old Olly Unitt.

A 24-year-old woman and a man aged 28 who were arrested on suspicion of gross negligence manslaughter have been bailed by police investigating last week’s fire.

A boy, named by trustees as two-year-old Jack, was taken to hospital after escaping from a first-floor window with his mother Natalie Unitt and her partner Chris Moulton.

In a statement issued by Stafford-based Hand Morgan and Owen Solicitors, the trustees said Jack would be the fund’s main beneficiary.

The trustees said: “We have been overwhelmed with the generosity of the local and wider community in response to the JustGiving fund set up following the tragic fire.

“JustGiving require the creator of the fund to nominate where these funds are to be paid and, having taken legal and Government advice, the most appropriate action is for a trust fund to be created.

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“The creation of the trust is the responsibility of the person instigating the JustGiving fund.

“A member of the local community who has been closely involved in giving their support following the tragic events will assist in this process.”

The scene of the fire
The scene of the fire (Aaron Chown/PA)

Their statement added: “The immediate issues faced by the trust are to ensure that monies are made available quickly to support any funeral and memorial costs for Riley, Keegan, Tilly-Rose and Olly, although it is anticipated that a significant part of those costs will be met by the generosity of local funeral directors, individuals and community groups and Stafford Borough Council.

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“Thereafter, the trustees wish to safeguard the remainder of the funds, and any further monies raised. Jack, the children’s two-year-old brother who survived this tragedy, is the main beneficiary of the trust.

“There are still many issues to be resolved, and it is important that the funds are safeguarded until such time as there is sufficient clarity to consider how best to utilise the monies held in trust.

“Those who have donated can be assured that, save for providing urgent financial assistance such as described above, the funds will be held by the trustees.”

Staffordshire Police said on Tuesday that following preliminary findings from fire investigators, officers had decided to rule out several rumours which had spread locally.

Detective Inspector Alan Lyford said: “We do not believe that a boiler defect was responsible and we can confirm there is no truth in rumours that cannabis was being grown at the property and may have been a cause.

“We’d again like to thank people for their patience, but kindly ask that people do not speculate as such comments can be misleading to an investigation as well as causing upset.”

More than 1,900 people have donated to the online appeal.

An inquest into the deaths of the four children, who lived at an end-of-terrace house in Sycamore Lane, Stafford, will open in Burton-on-Trent on Friday, a police spokesman said.

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