The father of two children who died in a suspected arson attack in Birmingham has been left seriously injured after being found hours later inside a burning car.

Police were called after his Vauxhall Insignia was seen on fire about 35 miles away in Newcastle-under-Lyme at around 7.15am on Friday (28 October).

A man in his 30s – thought by police to be the children's father – was found inside the burning car in Whitmore Road with life-threatening injuries. He was taken to hospital where he continues to be treated.

Police believe the incident is linked to a "suspicious" house fire hours earlier in the Hamstead area of Birmingham, in which the father's six-year-old girl and eight-year-old boy died.

Emergency services were called to the property in Holland Road at around 3.40am.

Firefighters extinguished a fire in the hallway of the house and the two children who had been rescued from inside were suffering cardiac arrest.

Despite attempts by neighbours and firemen to resuscitate the pair, the ambulance service said "nothing could be done" to save either child and they were confirmed dead shortly after arriving at hospital.

Their 36-year-old mother was also assessed by paramedics but did not suffer any serious injuries.

Residents said a neighbour had carried the children out of the house while waiting for the emergency services, laying them on the lawn.

Dawn Hill, 48, who lives across the road, said she ran outside to help after hearing the mother "wailing".

She told the Birmingham Mail: "The screams were absolutely terrible. It was like wailing. She was in total shock. I have never heard a scream like that – I can hear it now.

"The neighbours were trying to calm the woman down and she was still screaming. I saw the two children on the grass. The firemen were doing CPR, it seemed like they were working on them forever."

The house is currently cordoned off as a forensic examination is carried out.

Detective Chief Inspector Martin Slevin, of West Midlands Police, said: "This is an absolutely tragic set of circumstances and my thoughts are with everyone who has been affected.

"We are still at the early stages of understanding exactly what happened and why – but I can confirm we are not looking for anyone else in connection with this investigation.

"I am still keen to hear from anyone who was in the area in the early hours of this morning and who has not yet spoken to us.

"I also want to urge anyone who saw a Vauxhall Insignia in or around the area this morning to contact my team."

Despite the later recovery of the burning Vauxhall Insignia car, police would still like further information and can be contacted on 101 or information can be passed to the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.