Powys fire: PM hails 'brave' and 'professional' 999 crews

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Theresa May has praised the "bravery and professionalism" of the emergency services who were called to deal with a fire in rural Wales that is believed to have claimed the lives of a father and five young children.

Speaking during Prime Minister's Questions, Mrs May described the fire, which broke out at a farmhouse in Llangammarch Wells, Powys, in the early hours of Monday morning, as a "tragic case".

Dyfed-Powys Police said five children aged between four and 11 and one man were unaccounted for and believed to have died in the property.

A neighbour raised the alarm shortly after midnight on Monday and three children, aged 13, 12, and 10, managed to escape unharmed.

The man who died has been named locally as David Cuthbertson, who was known as Dave and thought to be in his 60s.

Neighbours said he "doted" on the children.

Conservative MP for Brecon and Radnorshire Chris Davies asked if Mrs May would join him "in sending our sympathies to the family of the bereaved and also to the villages and the town of Llangammarch", along with praising the work of emergency services who dealt with the "appalling tragedy with true dedication and professionalism".

He said: "Earlier this week in Llangammarch Wells in my constituency a horrific farmhouse fire claimed the lives of a father and five young children.

"This has had a devastating effect, not just on the family but on the tight-knit community that surround it."

Police vehicles and fire engines drives towards the scene in Llangammarch Wells, Powys
(Ben Birchall/PA)

Mrs May said she was sure everyone across the House would wish to send condolences to the family and friends of those affected.

"This was indeed a terrible tragedy that took place and as he said it isn't just the family themselves that have been affected by it but the local community," she said.

"I know that the emergency services did sterling work and I am also pleased to commend the work that they did and their bravery and professionalism in dealing with this issue."

Mrs May said Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns had spoken to the police and would remain in touch over the coming days

She added: "Our emergency services do do an amazing job protecting us, we see this in so many instances, they never know when they are going to be called out to such a tragic incident."

Mr Cairns also referred the fire at the start of the questions to him during Oral Questions.

He said: "Before I answer the first question I would like to convey the thoughts and prayers of the whole House to the family and community in Llangammarch Wells, following the tragic fire earlier this week."