A man has been charged with the murder of a mother and her two daughters after a flat fire in Nottingham.
Jamie Barrow, 31, is accused of murdering Fatoumatta Hydara, 28, and her daughters Fatimah Drammeh, three, and Naeemah Drammeh, one, following a blaze at their home in Clifton, Nottinghamshire Police said.
Ms Hydara, 28, had been on life support after the fire in Fairisle Close, Clifton, which broke out at around 3.15am on Sunday. The force said on Wednesday that she later died of her injuries at Queen’s Medical Centre.
Her two children were taken to the same hospital after the blaze but died shortly afterwards.
Officers said Barrow, of Fairisle Close, would be kept in custody overnight to appear at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court on Friday.
Assistant Chief Constable Rob Griffin, of Nottinghamshire Police, 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.
“Following those inquiries, we have charged a suspect with three counts of murder. 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.”
Earlier this week, police described the tragedy as having been an “extremely traumatic event” for the family, which includes the woman’s husband and the father of the two children.
Detective Chief Inspector Mark Sinski 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.”
Before news of Ms Hydara’s death broke, her husband Aboubacarr Drammeh said he was yet to “come to terms” with the deaths of his two children.
The 40-year-old, who arrived at the scene on Sunday from the US, told The Times: “I am just grieving. I have come straight here from the airport and now I am going to the hospital to see my wife.
“I don’t know what has happened here. This is just so upsetting. I haven’t started to come to terms with what has happened.”
A local resident, who asked not to be named, was alerted by a fire engine’s lights while watching a film, and then saw smoke billowing from the rear windows of the first-floor flat.
He told reporters after the Sunday blaze that he has seen “the blue lights and smoke was coming out of the top windows.”
The eyewitness said the older child was brought out of the property first, with the one-year-old being carried out by a single firefighter shortly afterwards.
Estimating that CPR was then carried out at the scene for around 20 minutes, the man added: “It was dark and raining and with the smoke I couldn’t see what was happening behind the fire engine.
“It’s sickening. I feel so sorry for the family. How is she going to feel when she finds out she’s lost the children?”