Fire and police investigation continuing into house fire in Rugby that left a woman and three children with serious injuries

Police and fire officers have praised the community's response after a severe house fire in Rugby.

The fire, in the early hours of Thursday in Wentworth Road, left a 28-year-old woman, a 10-year-old boy and an eight-year-old girl in hospital suffering with burns and smoke inhalation. The third child, a five-year-old boy, is in a critical but stable condition.

The scene of the fire in Wentworth Road

The scene of the fire in Wentworth Road

Police have said they are treating the fire as suspicious.

At the scene, Inspector Chloe Barnes of Warwickshire Police said: "This was an extremely serious incident and has shocked the local community...

"There will be an increased police presence in the area over the next couple of days as we investigate this incident and to provide reassurance to the local community.

"I would like to thank local residents who assisted the injured lady and her children while emergency services were en route and the local community for their support throughout the day. It has been a terrible shock for them but as is so often the case in these incidents it has brought the best out in our local people."

She appealed for anyone who may have seen anything suspicious, or who may have CCTV or dashcam footage, to get in touch with police by calling 101.

Group Commander Mark Allen from Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service said: "We were called at 2.46am to reports of a property fire, and further calls indicated that there were people inside.

"We dispatched two fire appliances from Rugby and one from Southam. The Rugby crews were at the scene in a matter of minutes and found that the woman and children had escaped the house."

He said the house had suffered from 100 per cent smoke damage throughout and 100 per cent fire damage to the ground floor.

During a scheduled return visit - a routine practice in such incidents - at around 5am fire officers discovered a hot spot within the wall and cut away part of the insulation.

Investigations into the cause of the fire are on-going.

Fire officers will be in the area offering advice and support to residents surrounding fire safety.