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School memorial created for children who died in Stafford house fire

By Jordan Reynolds | Stafford | News | Published:

A memorial made of flowers has been created at a Stafford school to remember four children who died in a house fire.

In the memorial garden are acting headteacher Nicola Glover, with pupils, left to right, Aimee Fellows, Emily Cranwell, Oliver Wildman, and Jayden Morning, all aged 11, at Castlechurch Primary School

Riley John Holt, aged eight, Keegan Jonathan Unitt, six, Tilly Rose Unitt, four, and Olly Unitt, three, died in the fire at their home in Highfields, Stafford, in February.

The children's mother Natalie Unitt, 25, her partner Chris Moulton, 29, and two-year-old Jack all survived the blaze after escaping through a first-floor window.

A memorial has been created at Castlechurch Primary School, where Riley, eight, went to school and Tilly and Olly, aged four and three, went to nursery.

Keegan was a pupil at Marshlands Special School.

Nicola Glover, acting headteacher of Castlechurch Primary School, said: "We've had a big wooden star planter made which has six points.

"Four of the points symbolise the children, one symbolises the school and one represents the community of Highfields.

"We currently have magnolias and bedding plants, the intention is that when it's time for planting bulbs one will be planted by each child in the school and they will bloom around the first anniversary.

The garden has been created over recent weeks

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"We had a grand opening on Monday afternoon and the Mayor of Stafford and representatives from the emergency services came.

"Obviously time is a great healer although the first few months were very difficult, children are very resilient.

"As staff it has been very difficult as the staff are grieving but they also have to support the children as well but we've got through.

"We wanted to create a lasting place where members of staff and pupils can go and reflect in the garden.

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"Paul Milgate-Scarrott has been the mastermind behind the scenes who has organised all of the materials and the volunteers who helped.

"The children loved it, some of the Year 5s helped to plant the flowers.

"After the event the PTSA paid for an ice cream van to come and each child had a free ice cream."

The community rallied together after the tragedy and raised more than £30,000, which went towards funeral costs and a trust set up for Jack.

And this week is was revealed that the inquests into their deaths was delayed until October while the police investigation continues.

The inquests were opened earlier this year at Burton Town Hall and said the cause of their deaths was "yet to be ascertained".

The house on Sycamore Lane where the children died was gradually demolished last month and is being replaced with grassland.

A 25-year-old woman and a 29-year-old man arrested on suspicion of manslaughter by gross negligence following the fire have been released under investigation while enquiries continue.

Jordan Reynolds

By Jordan Reynolds
Reporter - @jreynolds_star

Senior reporter at the Express & Star.

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