Pair in court over house fire deaths

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Image caption Three children aged 14, eight and seven, died in the blaze

Two people charged with murder over the deaths of three children in a house fire in Salford have appeared in court.

Zac Bolland, 23, and Courtney Brierley, 20, both of Worsley, Salford were also charged with arson and four counts of attempted murder.

They were remanded in custody until their next appearance on Thursday.

Demi Pearson, 14, Brandon, eight, and Lacie, seven, died in the blaze on Monday while a 35-year-old woman and a three-year-old remain in hospital.

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Image caption Brandon and Lacie died in hospital

The three-year-old is in a critical condition in hospital while Michelle Pearson is in a serious condition following the fire at a property in Walkden which broke out at about 05:00 GMT.

 

Police said Ms Pearson has been heavily sedated and has not yet been told about the deaths of her children.

Image caption Tributes have poured in for the victims of the blaze

Two 16-year-olds who were in the house, managed to escape before fire crews arrived.

Greater Manchester Police confirmed there had been previous incidents at the family’s home prior to the blaze and it had referred the case to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) which has started an investigation.

Mr Bolland, of Blackleach Drive, and Ms Brierley, of Worsley Avenue, are listed to appear at Manchester Crown Court on Thursday.

Two men, aged 19 and 20, arrested on suspicion of murder have been released on bail.

A 24-year-old man arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender has also been bailed.

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Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-42336078