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Girl, 7, becomes fourth victim of tragic Exeter house fire

Connor Parker
·2-min read
Four people have now died from the fire.
Four people have now died from the fire.

Police have confirmed a seven-year-old girl has now become the fourth victim of a fire in Exeter following a two-week battle in hospital.

Kaylie and Daniel Rudge, aged 28 and 29 respectively, were killed along with their daughter, Lilly, in the fire at their home on 21 February.

The seven-year-old girl and two other children were rushed to hospital after the fire.

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The two other children, aged four and nine, remain in hospital.

Daniel’s sister, Mandy Rudge, 31, said at the time: “There's not much we can say, words cannot describe how we feel. I've lost a brother, sister and niece.

"We were talking with them only the other day and now they're gone.

"Kaylie was the most beautiful person in the whole world and Daniel has the biggest heart in the world. They would do anything for anyone."

Police forensics searching the property after the fire. (SWNS)
Police forensics searching the property after the fire. (SWNS)

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Superintendent Antony Hart, told DevonLive: “The circumstances of this tragic incident have touched the hearts of all of those who were involved in the emergency response, those who know the family and the wider community.

“Our thoughts are with the family at this difficult time, and they are being supported by specialist officers. We ask that the privacy of those who are grieving is respected.”

Floral tributes have been left by Clayton Road. (SWNS)
Floral tributes have been left by Clayton Road. (SWNS)

Chief fire officer at Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service, Lee Howell, added: “This is incredibly sad news for all of us, and we offer our deepest condolences to the family.

“This was a tragic incident and our crews fought so bravely to save lives. Our thoughts are with the two boys still in hospital.”

Police asked people to consider COVID-19 restrictions when paying respects at the scene of the fire.

Flowers and messages have been left outside house.

Two fundraising pages set up to help the surviving members of the family have raised over £45,000 between them.

The goal is to help the remaining members of the family as well as cover the funeral costs.

It is unknown how the fire started but police are not treating the fire as suspicious and have ruled out third party involvement.

Close friend Lauren England said after the fire: "Daniel's sister is our good friend and neighbour and we used to socialise a few times a week with Daniel and Kaylie.

"We are absolutely devastated and heartbroken not only to lose friends, but to help his sister and family get through this awful time.

"They were such funny, caring and loving individuals, amazing parents to their four beautiful babies."

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