Parents charged with murder after burning down a house with their six children

Michael Philpott and his wife 
By: Sarah Weiss 

The parents of six children who died in a fire at their home in Britain, have been charged with murder, police said Wednesday.

The children died in a suspicious fire in the central city of Derby, England. The children were aged between 5 and 13. Five children died immediately and one child died later in the hospital.

Police said 55-year-old Michael Philpott and his 31-year-old wife have been charged with murder in connection with the blaze, which officials said erupted after fuel was poured through the mail slot of the door to the family home.

Immediately after the tragedy, police had praised Michael Philpott for trying to rescue his children, who were sleeping in their beds upstairs when the fire began to rage in the early hours of the morning.

Philpott has appeared on British television programs to talk about his unusually large family. In 2007, he hosted the then legislator Anne Widdicombe in his house for a week while recording a documentary critical of the country's welfare system.
He and his wife appeared before the Magistrate's Court on Thursday in South Derbyshire.