News article

UPDATE: House Fire, Exeter

Major incident

Police treating tragic fire as non-suspicious

Police are treating the cause of a fatal house fire in Exeter, during which two adults and a child died, as non-suspicious.

Police were alerted to the fire, at an address on Clayton Road in the St David’s area of Exeter, at around 5.30am on Sunday 21 February.

Police have now concluded their examination of the scene and found no evidence of third-party involvement. The fire has been confirmed as starting in a downstairs room and no faults have been identified with any electrical appliances or wiring. The investigation remains underway in support of the Coronial process.

The family members who tragically lost their lives in the fire were Kaylie Rudge, 28, and Daniel Rudge, 29, and their four-year-old daughter, Lillie-Rose Rudge.

Three other children, including a nine-year-old boy and a four-year-old boy – Lillie-Rose’s twin brother – are being treated at Bristol Children’s Hospital. A seven-year-old girl remains in a critical condition.

Superintendent Antony Hart, said: “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.”

Chief Fire Officer at Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue, Lee Howell, added: “Our hearts go out to everyone who knew the family involved in the fire in Exeter yesterday.

“It’s an incredibly sad time for the city and our community. Our thoughts are with the children who are still critically ill in hospital and the lives of those who have been changed forever by this fire.

“I’m very proud of the actions of our Fire Control operators and the crews from Danes Castle, Middlemoor, Clyst St George and Crediton who worked so bravely to try and save the lives of those involved and all those support staff and officers who helped resolve this incident.

“They have been offered support following such a traumatic incident. The support from police and ambulance service colleagues was so important and I’m grateful to everyone who tried to help in any way. 

“We would ask everyone reading this message to consider safety in your home, and take simple steps, such as regularly testing your smoke alarms. Along with the sadness of what happened, we know that many people will be feeling worried about their safety.

“We will be sharing more safety advice over the coming days for parents and children.”


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