A seven-year-old girl has been confirmed as the fourth victim of a fatal house fire in Exeter.
Officers were called to the blaze at a house in the St David’s area of the city at about 5.30am on February 21.
Kaylie Rudge, 28, her husband Daniel Rudge, 29, and their four-year-old daughter, Lillie-Rose Rudge, died in the fire.
Three other children, a boy, nine, and a four-year-old boy – the twin brother of Lillie-Rose – and a seven-year-old girl, were taken to Bristol Children’s Hospital for treatment.
The seven-year-old girl has been named as Iviee-May Hall, who was born in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, in July 2013.
Iviee-May was the daughter of Mrs Rudge and her ex-partner James Hall and was Mr Rudge’s step-daughter. She died in hospital last week.
Young couple Daniel and Kaylie Rudge died in a fire at their home in Exeter last month, along with their four-year-old daughter
Forensic officers arrived at the property in Clayton Road last month as police investigated the cause of the fire
Mr Hall, from Weston-super-Mare, wrote on Facebook last week: ‘Words can explain how I feel today, my beautiful angel Iviee-May has joined his mother and sister in the sky.
‘I take comfort in knowing she is in no pain and that her last moments were spent in my arms.
‘I’d like to take this moment to thank all my family and friends that have been there throughout showing me the support that has given me the strength to get through this.’
He also paid tribute to Bristol Children’s Hospital, adding: ‘The ICU at Bristol Children’s Hospital provided exceptional care for Iviee in her final days.
‘They went above and beyond to ensure that she was as comfortable and cared for as possible.’
Devon and Cornwall Police confirmed on Thursday the seven-year-old girl, who was left in a critical condition following the incident, had died from her injuries.
The force previously said all those occupying the house at the time of the fire, which is not being treated as suspicious, were related.
Superintendent Antony Hart said: ‘The circumstances of this tragic incident have touched the hearts of all of those who were involved in the emergency response, those who know the family and the wider community.
‘Our thoughts are with the family at this difficult time, and they are being supported by specialist officers. We ask that the privacy of those who are grieving is respected.’
A major investigations unit -including this police lorry – stands outside the Exeter home last month
Police had extended the cordon to give them more space to investigate the cause of the fire
Three other children – boys, aged nine and four, and a seven-year-old girl – were being treated at Bristol Children’s Hospital – while police screened off the entrance to the home
Police previously confirmed their examination of the site was complete and no evidence of third-party involvement had been found.
The fire started in a downstairs room. No faults have been identified with any electrical appliances or wiring in the property, the force said.
A spokesman asked people not to visit the scene to avoid putting themselves or others at risk by breaching Covid-19 social distancing regulations.
Lee Howell, chief fire officer at Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service, said: ‘This is incredibly sad news for all of us, and we offer our deepest condolences to the family.
‘This was a tragic incident and our crews fought so bravely to save lives. Our thoughts are with the two boys still in hospital.’
An inquest into the deaths of all four victims was opened today but was adjourned for ‘further inquiries to be made’.
The house is an a cul de sac where families mostly live. Most said they had no idea of what had happened until the next day
Chief superintendent Evans asked the public to give officers space as they needed investigate
The tragedy will impact ‘the whole of the city,’ of Exeter, council leader Phil Bialyk said, as the local authority flew a flag at half mast
Mrs Rudge, a full-time mother, and Mr Rudge, a member of a local bike group, had been married for five years.
Mr Rudge was a member of the Demons motor bike club and his bike was parked outside the house in the cul-de-sac near the city’s main railway station.
Close friend Lauren England said: ‘Daniel’s sister is our good friend and neighbour and we used to socialise a few times a week with Daniel and Kaylie.
‘We are absolutely devastated and heartbroken not only to lose friends, but to help his sister and family get through this awful time.
‘They were such funny, caring and loving individuals, amazing parents to their four beautiful babies.
‘They were always there when we needed them the most without any hesitation, they were at our door within minutes, always thinking about everyone else but themselves.
‘They will be truly missed and Exeter has gained a huge hole in its heart as they were very popular among the community.
‘We hope their souls are at peace and their babies they’ve left behind will be very well taken care of and will never go without love and care from us all.’
Miss England’s partner Lauren Willdigg added: ‘Big love to my best friend and her family, two of my good friends gone too soon.’
Tips to Find Low Priced Luxury Holiday Package Deals Fast