POLICE have launched a murder investigation over the deaths of three children in yesterday’s fatal fire in Walkden.

The children’s mother and her three-year-old daughter are fighting for their lives in hospital.

Five people have been arrested in connection with the blaze.

Greater Manchester Police have arrested three men aged 18, 20 and 23 and one 20-year-old woman on suspicion of murder. A 24-year-old man has also been arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender.

Fourteen-year-old Demi Pearson and her younger brother and sister died in the fire which started in the early hours yesterday.

A three-year-old girl is still fighting for her life and the children’s mum Michelle Pearson, 35, remains in a serious condition in hospital.

Police are still on the scene of where the fire broke out yesterday morning

Since the tragic blaze floral tributes, toys and candles have been left outside the house on Jackson Street and Police cars and the fire investigation team are still parked outside the property.

Several Facebook pages have been set up including a fundraising page to help pay for the costs of the funerals of the three children that died in the fire.

So far the page has raised £2,904 out of £4,000 and people are leaving tributes to the children on the page.

Contributor Sandra Wilding said: “Fly high little angels my thoughts are with the family x”

While Susan Eckersall commented: “My heart bleeds for this poor family”

A Justgiving page has also been set up to raise money for the family which has currently raised £1129, and you can donate here.

A memorial has also been set up at the Parish church of St John the Baptist where people can lay candles and leave tributes to the family.

Area manager Damian O’Rourke from Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service said:

“Firefighters received a call to the incident shortly before 5am and three fire engines were sent to the scene, followed shortly by a further fire engine. Firefighters arrived within minutes and were faced with a very serious and well-developed fire involving the ground and first floor.

“Knowing there were people trapped inside, firefighters wearing breathing apparatus immediately went in and quickly rescued five people from the house but sadly three of those people died. 

“Crews extinguished the fire and remained on the scene for a number of hours dampening down and ensuring there were no hotspots. A joint fire and police investigation is ongoing and crews are expected to be on the scene for a number of days assisting with the investigation.

“Our first thoughts are with the family and friends of those involved. Incidents as tragic as this are thankfully rare but these are really heart-breaking circumstances and the crew involved will be receiving personal support from our internal health and wellbeing team.“

A statement from Salford Mayor Paul Dennett said:

“Our thoughts are with the friends and family of those killed and seriously injured in this horrific incident in our city. “We’ll continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with our communities and police to bring those responsible to justice.”

Police are still appealing for witnesses and anyone with information on the blaze should contact them on 0161 856 8797 alternatively call 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

You can catch the full coverage of this story on Quays News on the 4.30 programme live on Youtube.

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