The mother of two children who were killed in a flat fire in Nottingham has died in hospital, police confirmed.
Fatoumatta Hydara, aged 28, was placed on a life support machine at Queen’s Medical Centre in Clifton following the fire on Sunday, but died on Tuesday morning.
Her two children, Naeemah Drammeh, aged one, and Fatimah Drammeh, aged three, were taken to the same hospital on Sunday but were pronounced dead shortly after arrival.
Police have now launched a triple murder investigation.
A 31-year-old man was arrested following the fire and remains in police custody.
Nottinghamshire Police has been given an extra 36 hours to question the 31-year-old.
A joint investigation by the police and fire service concluded the fire was started deliberately
Det Ch Insp Mark Sinski, who is leading the investigation, said: “We are dealing with one of the most horrendous crimes – the death of two young children and their mother.
“This is a deeply upsetting tragedy and I can only imagine the family’s pain. They include the woman’s husband and the father of the two children, who was not in the UK at the time of the fire.
“Both he and other members of the family are being supported by specially-trained officers at this incredibly difficult time and we ask for the media to give them privacy while they deal with this incredible loss.
“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.”
Forensic officers gathered evidence at the scene of the fire
A man who lives next door to the family, who asked not to be named, said they had lived in the flat for at least the two years he had been there.
“I just know they’re a nice family – they’ve never hurt nobody,” he said.
“They’ve always kept themselves to themselves. They always said hello and the kids would say hello.
“To me they didn’t have a hurtful bone in their body so I don’t know who would want to do this to them.”
Police said high-visibility patrols would remain in the area over the coming days to offer reassurance to people living nearby and answer questions.
Det Ch Insp Sinski said: “The local community has been shocked and deeply saddened by the events of the past two days and I want to thank those living in the area for the patience and understanding while we gather evidence at the scene.
“I also want to thank those who have already come forward, but I would urge anyone with any information, regardless of how insignificant you think it may be, to contact us.”
People have been leaving floral tributes to the fire victims
Floral tributes have been left at the scene since the fire was put out at about 04:00 GMT on Sunday, and people have been lighting candles at a local church.
Adam Lamb, 40, who lives on the street, placed flowers and a teddy at the cordon.
He said: “Everyone’s shocked at the moment. They didn’t stand a chance did they?”
Nottingham South MP Lilian Greenwood said on Monday:
“I’ll do everything I can to support my constituents and the local community in the days and weeks ahead.
“It’s devastating to hear that the fire was started deliberately. I hope that anyone who may have seen anything which could assist the police with their investigation will come forward.”