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Pair held over child arson deaths
A man and woman have been arrested by detectives investigating the deaths of six children in a house fire.
The victims, whose ages ranged from five to 13, died after an arson attack on a house in Derby on May 11.
Derbyshire Police said a 55-year-old man and a 31-year-old woman from Derby were arrested on Tuesday morning. They were not named.
Petrol was used to start the blaze at the house in Victory Road, Allenton, Derby.
Jade Philpott, 10, and brothers John, nine, Jack, seven, Jessie, six, and Jayden, five, all perished in the blaze, while Duwayne Philpott, 13, died of his injuries in Birmingham Children's Hospital two days later.
Announcing the arrests, Assistant Chief Constable Steve Cotterill said: "I suspect there may still be people with crucial information who have not yet come forward to speak to us.
"In view of the arrests, I would urge anyone who may have been holding back, not felt comfortable to voice their concerns or not had the confidence, to do so now. They have my personal reassurance that we will deal with their information sensitively."
The force said it was increasing its presence in Victory Road with a mobile police station returning to the area along with extra patrols. Forensic examinations are continuing at the house.
Five days after the arson attack the children's father Mick Philpott, 55, faced the media with his wife Mairead, 31. Mr Philpott, who repeatedly wiped away tears, thanked those who tried to rescue his children and members of the local community for their support: "We can't express our gratitude enough. It's not just us that have suffered, it's them as well - it's everybody."
In the aftermath of the fire, police said Mr Philpott made "valiant" efforts to rescue his children during the blaze. Said to have fathered 17 children, Mr Philpott is well known in the local community because of media reports about his large family.