RELATIVES of four siblings killed in a horror house fire have issued a tear-jerking appeal ahead of the youngsters’ funerals today.
Riley Holt, eight, Keegan Unitt, six, four-year-old Tilly Rose Unitt and three-year-old brother Olly Unitt all tragically died after a huge blaze ripped through their house in Stafford on February 5.
Grieving loved ones have asked well-wishers to put teddy bears and toys in their front windows in memory of the children as they are laid to rest, according to local newspaper Stoke Sentinel.
A private funeral will take place later with members of the public invited to line the route of the procession, expected to move through the Highfields estate where the family lived from around midday.
Two horse-drawn carriages, each carrying two coffins, will travel from the Estate along Silkmore Lane, Radford Bank and Baswich Lane.
“Members of the public might wish to show their support by putting teddy bears or toys in their windows in memory of the children”
Family statement issued by Staffordshire Police
The service, for family and close friends only, will be held at Stafford crematorium.
A public memorial service is being planned for a future date, the family said in a statement.
A Staffordshire Police spokesman said: “The family have requested privacy at the service which is for family and close friends only.
“They have suggested members of the public might wish to show their support by putting teddy bears or similar children’s toys in their windows in memory of the children.
“A memorial service is being planned for a future date where the local community will be welcomed.”
Fire officials have yet to reveal the cause of the horrific blaze, at the family home in Sycamore Road, Highfields.
It comes as Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service Chief Fire Officer Becci Bryant described the fire as the “most tragic” she had ever faced during her 28 years of service.
Ms Bryant told the BBC: “”The magnitude of losing four children under the age of 10 is extraordinary.
“I am not afraid to say that before I drove home I needed to stop and have a cry about what I had seen and what the impact had been on the crews right then and there.
“I hope I never, and none of my staff ever, have to go through something like that again.”
The children’s mother, Natalie Unitt, 24, and boyfriend, Christopher Moulton, 28, and the children’s younger sibling, Jack, two, survived the fire.
Investigators have yet to ascertain the cause of the blaze but have reportedly dismissed rumours the fire could have been triggered by an exploding boiler or a cannabis factory.
An inquest into the siblings’ deaths is expected to take place in July.