Fire deaths could have been prevented, says coroner

THE tragic deaths of the four children who perished in an horrific house fire in Hulland Ward were preventable, an inquest has heard.

Dr Robert Hunter, the coroner for Derby and South Derbyshire, said a fire guard would have stopped the blaze starting at the home on Highfield Road.

He also added that working smoke alarms would have, in all probability, given the five occupants of the house time to escape before the fire took hold.

Siblings Tommy Everton, nine, Alisha Henson-Nulty, six, Rocco Henson-Nulty, four, and Appolonia Henson, two, died in the blaze on the evening of January 24 this year.

Their mum, Rachael Henson, escaped from the burning house.

Dr Hunter recorded a narrative verdict on the children’s deaths. He added: “The absence of a fire guard and the removal of, and non-function of, a smoke detector were contributing factors in these deaths.”

For more on the inquest, read the Belper News next Wednesday, December 28.