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Parents of 6 children who died in UK fire arrested

ANDREW YATES/AFP/GettyImages

A British fireman walked near the site of a May 11 fire that claimed the lives of six children in Derby city.

LONDON - British police arrested on suspicion of murder Tuesday the parents of six children who died in a fire at their home.

Derbyshire police said a 55-year-old man and a 31-year-old woman were arrested together in Derby city center in connection with the fire earlier this month. Authorities said the blaze broke out after fuel was poured through the front-door mail slot of the family’s home.

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Police did not name the suspects, but British media have identified them as Mick Philpott, 55, and his wife, Mairead, 31.

The children killed in the suspicious May 11 fire in the central England city of Derby ranged from ages 5 to 13. Five died immediately and one died at the hospital.

Philpott has 17 children and had previously been featured on British television in programs about his extraordinarily large family. In 2007, he hosted a lawmaker, Anne Widdicombe, to live at his home for a week as she filmed a documentary critical of the country’s welfare system.

Jade, 10; John, 9; Jack, 7; Jessie, 6; and Jayden, 5, died at the scene from smoke inhalation. Their brother Duwayne, 13, died in the hospital from his injuries.

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