Four children have died in a house fire after two adults and another child managed to escape through a top-floor window of the burning building in Stafford.
The survivors of the blaze in the Highfields area of Stafford were taken to hospital after neighbours reported hearing “popping” and “explosions” coming from the house in the early hours.
Pictures from the scene show the roof of the house destroyed by the blaze and emergency workers continued to work on the house mid-morning on Tuesday.
The parents of the children who died in the blaze have been named locally as Natalie Unitt and Chris Moulton.
They are understood to have five children named Riley, Jack, Keegan, Tilly and Olly, who are aged between two and eight-years-old.
Rob Barber, deputy chief fire officer for Staffordshire fire and rescue service, said: “One male, one female and a baby had escaped from the property prior to our arrival via a first-floor window.
“Our firefighters were faced with very difficult conditions inside the property due to the severity of the fire.
“At this time I cannot comment further on the likely cause.”
One witness, Jason Stones, 48, said he “could hear small pops and explosions coming from the house”.
His wife dialled 999 when they saw smoke “pouring down the road” and when he got out onto the snow-sprinkled street, Mr Stones said he could feel the heat coming from the inferno.