Funeral for four house fire victims

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the funerals of the four young children tragically killed in a house fire in Hulland Ward were due to take place today.

Tommy Henson, nine, Alisha Henson-Nulty, six, Rocco Henson-Nulty, four, and Appolonia Henson, two, died as a result of a blaze at their home on Highfield Road on the evening of Monday, January 24.

Their mum, Rachael Henson, managed to escape from the rear of the property before frantically trying to get back into the house through the front door, which was locked to rescue the youngsters.

Now, the 45-year-old hairdresser is set to lay her beloved children to rest at a poignant ceremony this morning.

Police released a statement on behalf of Rachael, announcing the details of the funeral.

The service will be held at St Oswald’s Church, on Church Street in Ashbourne, starting at 11am, followed by a private burial at the local cemetery.

Lee Nulty, the heartbroken father of Alisha and Rocco, told the News: “It is still all very confusing.” The tragic fire hit the small, tight-knit community of Hulland Ward hard and there is still a sense of shock at what happened to the children.

Neighbours of the family have kick-started plans for a poignant memorial to the four youngsters.

Joanne Newbury, who lives across the road from the gutted house, wants to see a bench erected on one of the grass verges at the entrance to Highfield Road or on nearby Hulland Park.

She is planning events to raise cash, including a barbecue.

Joanne said that fellow neighbour Anna Murphy wanted to plant a memorial tree on the other grass verge at the end of the road.

Both plans have received the backing of Cllr Jennifer Radford, who is the chairman of the Derbyshire Dales District Council and a Hulland Ward councillor.

An account has also been set up at the Royal Bank of Scotland in Ashbourne for anyone who want to donate cash to help mum Rachael.

Firefighters and ambulance crews were called out to the house at 11.30pm as neighbours battled in vain to try and get into the house and save the youngsters. Some propped ladders against the house as they tried to climb in but were beaten back.