Family ‘heartbroken’ after Salford house fire
The family of four children who died after a suspected arson attack on their home in Salford say they have been left "heartbroken" by their deaths.
Firefighters fought to get the fire under control and rescue the seven people inside, but four children have died and their mother – 35-year-old Michelle Pearson – remains in a coma in hospital.
Paying tribute to the victims, the children's granddad Mike Pearson, aunt Claire Pearson and uncle Chris Pearson said they were "dreading the day" they had to tell Ms Pearson "the awful news about her babies".
They described 15-year-old Demi Pearson as a "beautiful young lady with so many friends" and her eight-year-old brother Brandon as "so clever you would feel like you were talking to an old man when you spoke to him".
Of seven-year-old Lacie and three-year-old Lia, they said: "Lacie was a little diva, she loved to dance. There was always music on in the house, and Lacie would always be dancing to it.
"Little Lia loved Peppa Pig. She called everyone pig, so Mummy Pig, Demi Pig, Brandon Pig and Lacie Pig. She even called herself Lia pig. She was so cute and the older ones doted on her."
The family have also offered their thanks to the people of Salford for their support and well-wishes, as well as the people from all over the country who had sent them messages.
"Right now, all we can do is hold each other together as a family," they added. "This will not break us."
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David Worrall, 25, of Worsley Avenue, Worsley, Zac Bolland, 23, of Blackleach Drive, Walkden, and Courtney Brierley, 20, of Worsley Avenue, Walkden, were all due to appear at Manchester Crown Court on Friday.
Worrall has been charged with four counts of murder, three counts of attempted murder and one count of arson with intent to endanger life, with Bolland and Brierley charged with four counts of attempted murder and one count of arson with intent to endanger life.