Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC - formerly IPCC)
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Investigation following fatal fire in Greater Manchester is complete

Our investigation into the contact Greater Manchester Police (GMP) had with a family, before a fatal fire, is complete.

Demi, Brandon, Lacie and Lia Pearson all died as a result of the fire which happened on 11 December 2017 in Walkden. Their mother, Michelle Pearson, continues to recover from the injuries she suffered that night.

Our investigation began on 25 May 2018; it was paused until the conclusion of the criminal trial relating to the incident.

We completed our work in June this year, having examined the contact between GMP and Michelle Pearson and her family from 26 November to 11 December 2017. This included reports to the force about property being damaged at Ms Pearson’s home, and further threats to damage the house.

The officers and staff involved were witnesses to our investigation throughout. The actions of the officers who attended the scene of the fire on 11 December did not form part of our investigation.

IOPC Regional Director Amanda Rowe:

“Michelle and her family have endured unimaginable suffering – and have shown such strength throughout – and our thoughts remain with them.

“I know the impact of this tragedy has been felt by many, not least those from across the emergency services who were at the scene that night.

“Our investigation is complete, and we have shared our final report with Greater Manchester Police and the coroner for their consideration, as is the proper process. We visited Michelle during our investigation, and provided updates about our work to her family. We will discuss our report with them soon.

“The next step is to await the conclusion of the inquest proceedings before we can consider the publication of our findings.”

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