Flag to be flown at half mast as Exeter grieves

A flag is to be flown at half mast tomorrow at the Civic Centre in Exeter after a fire which broke out in the early hours of this morning claimed three lives.

There will also be a minute’s silence held by Exeter City Council before a full council meeting on Tuesday, the council said today.

It comes after it was confirmed by Chief Supt Dan Evans this afternoon that three people had sadly died in a house fire that broke out in the early hours of this morning.

Chief Superintendent Daniel Evans read a statement which explained that it had been confirmed that two adults, a 28-year-old woman and a 29-year-old man, plus a four-year-old girl had all died following this house fire on Clayton Road, off Bonhay Road, in the St David’s area of the city.

As well as the fatalities, police confirmed that two boys aged four and nine, and a seven-year-old girl who were also in the house at the time of the fire remained in hospital, in a stable condition, soon to be transferred to Bristol Children’s Hospital.

Supt Evans said there is nothing to indicate any third-party involvement in this matter and therefore, they are not seeking anyone in connection to this fire at this time.

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In light of the tragic incident, Phil Bialyk, Leader of Exeter City Council paid tribute to the deceased.

“This is tragic news that will impact the whole of the city. Our hearts go out to the family. Thank you to the emergency services. We will of course do anything we can to support the community.”

Devon and Somerset Fire & Rescue took to Twitter in response of the incident, and explained that investigations into the cause of the fire are ongoing.

A tweet from the fire service said: “Our heartfelt thoughts are with the family and everyone involved in responding to this tragic incident.

“Our officers remain at the scene working alongside the police.

“Investigations into the cause of the fire continue and we are working closely with specialist scene investigators.”

Tom Woodman, chief executive of Cornerstone Housing which owns the property at Clayton Road where the terrible tragedy happened, added: “Words can’t express how devasted we feel at Cornerstone Housing about this terrible tragedy in one of our houses.

“Our hearts go out to the family’s relatives, friends, and the whole of the local community. We will do whatever we can to help and support them at this awful time.

“Our thoughts are also with the emergency services who dealt with this heartbreaking scene.”

Devon Live