A man appeared in court yesterday accused of murdering three children and a man who died when an explosion tore through their home.
Mark Goldstraw (31) is charged with the murder of Marcus Carter, aged seven, and his sisters Patricia, ten, and Samantha, 16, along with their mother's partner Roderick Hine, 44, in Cheddleton, near Leek in Staffordshire.
Goldstraw appeared at Fenton Magistrates' Court in Stoke-on-Trent, where he spoke only to give his name, address and date of birth.
During the two-minute hearing, Paul Spratt, prosecuting, said Goldstraw was charged with four counts of murder between March 9 and 10.
There was no application for bail by Arif Hussain, defending Goldstraw, of Compton House in Leek, who was dressed in a blue sweat top and matching trousers.
The case was adjourned by District Judge Graham Richards to Stafford Crown Court on Monday.
Meanwhile, residents of Cheddleton are being offered counselling from Victim Support following the tragedy that rocked the community.
A bereavement counsellor will be at St Andrew's Church Hall, in Cheddleton, from 6pm-9.30pm tomorrow. Officers from Staffordshire Police will also be there to answer questions.
A spokesman for Stafford-shire Moorlands District Council, which is helping to organise the session, said people could also call Victim Support confidentially on 01782 717184.
About 15 tonnes of remains from the house, in Hillside Road, have been taken away by forensic experts.
Scenes of crime officers yesterday completed their examination of the burnt out property, that stands partially demolished.
Some remains believed to be of "evidential value" have been taken away for further tests. Further demolition is expected be carried out to make the building safe.
It will remain cordoned off as a crime scene and fences put up around it, the spokesman added.
Detective Chief Inspector Dave Garrett, leading the investigation, said: "A large team of experts have worked tirelessly at the scene to ensure the safe recovery of material with potential evidential value.
"Local residents have faced considerable disruption over the last few days while having to come to terms with this terrible tragedy and I am very grateful to them for their support and patience."