A woman and a man were today arrested on suspicion of murder after five children aged between five and 10 perished in a house fire, despite the desperate efforts of their father to save them.
, 10, her brothers John
, nine, and Jack
, seven, and sisters Jessie
, six and Jaden
, five, were killed in the fierce blaze in the early hours of the morning in the semi-detached property in Allenton, Derby.
Their 13-year-old brother, Duwayne
, remains in a critical condition in hospital in Birmingham. His parents are by his bedside.
Tonight, police arrested a 38-year-old man, from Derby, on suspicion of murder. A woman in her 20s had also been held earlier today on suspicion of murder
Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Steve Cotterill, from Derbyshire Police, said: 'There appears to have been valiant attempts by the father to rescue his children.'
He said two adults in the home, whom he did not name, escaped the fire without serious injury after being alerted by a smoke detector.
Mr Cotterill, who said police were keeping an open mind about the cause of the fire, added: 'It is a matter of a police inquiry, where we have had to act very quickly to preserve any evidence which may feature later in the inquiry.'
It was 'potentially' a murder inquiry, he added, and the woman being questioned by police was not arrested at the scene.
He said eight people were living in the house on a permanent basis, though there might be other people who stayed there on an ad hoc basis.
Mr Philpott has featured on the ITV programme Ann Widdecombe Versus The Benefit Culture and also made an appearance on an episode of Jeremy Kyle (video below) billed 'Father to 15... Wife and girlfriend pregnant again!'.
In a heated exchange Mr Philpott told the host: 'When it comes to my family I'm very defensive.'
Kyle then accused the unemployed father of not making enough effort to find work and asked: 'What are you worth?'
Mr Philpott replied: 'I'm worth more than you.'
Eventually the debate become so heated that a security guard had to intervene.
Ms Widdecombe, who spent a week living with the then Mr Philpott for the programme, said following the tragedy: 'Nobody would ever call him a bad father. I'm so sorry to hear the news and my thoughts are with the family.'
The alarm was raised by neighbour Joe Peel, who was woken by his dog.
He looked out of his window and saw that the door was on fire, so he immediately called the fire brigade.
He said: 'I was woken by the dog barking. I ran out of the house and could hear screaming. There were other neighbours there. No one could could get near the house because of flames and smoke. Everyone was screaming.
'There was black smoke billowing from the property and flames shooting up the stairs. It was horrible.'
Another neighbour, who didn’t want to be named, said: 'It was terrible, just so bad. It was the worst thing I’ve seen in my life.
'I did what any parent would do and ran to the house, but there was nothing anybody could do.'
Post-mortem examinations will be carried out over the weekend and forensic specialists are examining the house.