Police identify three children killed in farmhouse fire tragedy

Police have named three of the young children who died in a fire that destroyed a farmhouse.

Just Raine, 11, his brother Reef Raine, 10 and their nine-year-old sister Misty Raine were killed in the blaze at the remote property at Llangammarch Wells, Powys.

They died alongside David Cuthbertson, 68, and two other children, who have yet to be formally identified.

David Cuthbertson, 68, who was among the victims (Dyfed-Powys Police/PA)
David Cuthbertson, 68, who was among the victims (Dyfed-Powys Police/PA)

A neighbour raised the alarm during the early hours of October 30 and three children, aged 13, 12, and 10, managed to escape unharmed.

Chief Superintendent Tony Brown, who is leading the operation at the farmhouse, said a fourth child's body had been recovered but not formally identified, while work continued to recover the remains of the sixth person.

"We were working on the hypothesis that five children were unaccounted for following the fire, therefore work will continue to recover the remains of another body," he said.

"Our hearts go out to the family and our thoughts and prayers are with them."

Chief Superintendent Tony Brown gives an update on the investigation ( Rod Minchin/PA)
Chief Superintendent Tony Brown gives an update on the investigation ( Rod Minchin/PA)

A fundraising page set up to help the family has so far raised more than £23,000.

Police are continuing to treat the cause of the fire as "unexplained".

Mr Brown said the recovery operation was extremely challenging for all those involved.

"The nature of this fire was extremely intense and destructive and it has presented us with significant difficulties as we work tirelessly to assess the scene and recover remains, which is why it is taking considerable time," he said.

"During these past weeks, we have been faced with the difficult task of taking down the outer walls of the house - 260 tonnes of bricks and mortar - brick by brick, by hand.

"Only once this was finished, could we section-off the inside of the house and begin the delicate fingertip search for remains.

Floral tributes at the scene (Ben Birchall/PA)
Floral tributes at the scene (Ben Birchall/PA)

"Specialist scientists have been with us at the scene to assess what we have found and we have taken great care to ensure that this process maintains the utmost respect for the deceased and the bereaved.

"It has obviously been difficult and challenging in a number of ways for everybody involved and this work is likely to continue for another couple of weeks.

"Our commitment to this work will not falter. Our focus has been and continues to be the family who are having to go through the most horrendous of ordeals.

"We have been supporting them throughout and continue to update them with developments.

"Our thoughts are firmly with the family."

Police said Mr Cuthbertson and the young children, aged between four and 11, were all from the "same family unit". The children's mother lives locally.

Those who have been formally named were identified by DNA.