A man has been charged with the murders of a mother and two children who died after a fire in their home in Nottingham.
Nottinghamshire police said 31-year-old Jamie Barrow, of Clifton, Nottingham, had been charged with three counts of murder on Thursday.
Fatoumatta Hydara, 28, and her daughters, three-year-old Fatimah Drammeh and one-year-old Naeemah Drammeh, died from smoke inhalation after a blaze at their home on Sunday. A joint fire and police investigation concluded that the fire was started deliberately.
Barrow has been remanded into custody and will appear at Nottingham magistrates court on Friday.
The assistant chief constable Rob Griffin said: “Our thoughts remain with the family at this incredibly painful time, as well as the communities that have been affected by this most tragic of incidents. The grief this family has been put through is incomprehensible.
“Large teams of detectives have been working relentlessly alongside specialist search units and forensic experts to understand the full circumstances behind this deliberate fire.”
He added: “The family are aware of this development and I would like to sincerely thank them for their patience and understanding as we do everything we possibly can to gain justice for Fatoumatta, Fatimah and Naeemah.”
The family were taken to Queen’s medical centre after the fire, where the two children were pronounced dead shortly after arrival. Their mother was placed on a life support machine before she died on Tuesday.
Hydara’s husband, Aboubacarr Drammeh, 40, the children’s father, was in the US at the time of the fire. He flew back to the UK and visited the scene of the fire on Monday, where he told reporters he had not “started to come to terms with what has happened”.
He said: “I am just grieving. I have just flown in from America. I have come straight here from the airport. I don’t know what has happened here. I need to try to understand what. This is just so upsetting.”
The fire consumed a first-floor flat in a two-storey residential building in Clifton, a village on the outskirts of Nottingham, where the family are thought to have lived for about five years.
Emergency services were called in the early hours of Sunday and managed to extinguish the fire at 4am.
DCI Mark Sinski, who is leading the investigation, said this week that the family were being supported by specially trained officers. “This has been an extremely traumatic event for them, and I’d like to reassure them we’re doing everything we possibly can to bring them the justice they deserve,” he said.