Last kiss for fire tragedy children

16 February 2011, 15:04 | Updated: 30 March 2016, 13:50

A mother whose four children were killed in a house fire in Derbyshire blew them final kisses on Wednesday.

Rachel Henson lost her children - nine-year-old Tommy, six-year-old Alisha, Rocco, four, and Appolonia, two - when a fire engulfed the family home in Hulland Ward, Derbyshire, last month.

Ms Henson managed to escape from the property in Highfield Road but was unable to get back inside to rescue the youngsters, who were sleeping upstairs.

On Wednesday, 45-year-old Ms Henson, dressed in a black trouser suit with her long blonde hair hanging loose around her shoulders, tearfully blew kisses to the white coffins of her four children as they arrived at St Oswald's Church in Ashbourne, Derbyshire, for their funeral service.

A long line of mourners followed the children's caskets into the church, which was full to capacity.

Ms Henson escaped from a downstairs window in the house when the fire began around 11.30pm on January 25, but was unable to get back into the property.

Neighbours struggled to reach the brothers and sisters as the fire swept through the house but could not open the front door of the property.

Ms Henson was treated in hospital for smoke inhalation and later released.

Fire officers in Derbyshire said the cause of the blaze, which broke out on the ground floor while the children slept upstairs, may have been caused by a stray spark or ember from an open fire.


 small funeral fire