THE couple who died in a house fire have been named as Tazmin Pugh and Josh Kirk.

Tributes have been paid to them after they died in the fire in Cotheridge on Sunday.

Tazmin, aged 18, was well known as a swimmer and represented England and Great Britain at youth level. 

Pershore Swimming Club tweeted: "With enormous shock and sorrow that we heard today that Tazmin Pugh has tragically died on Sunday.

"There are no words to describe the horror of losing one so young. 

“All at Pershore SC send their thoughts and prayers to her family & friends at this dreadful time. RIP Tazmin.” 

Miss Pugh was a former pupil at Bowbrook House School, Abbey Park Middle School and Pershore High School.

In 2015, she returned from the fifth Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa with six medals from eight events.

Following that victory, she enrolled in British Swimming’s world-class programme on podium potential level.

And in December that year, she set a  new British Junior Record in the 100 Fly.

That year, she was also named junior female sports person of the year in the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Sports Awards.

Chris Allen, head of Bowbrook House, said: “Our thoughts are with Tazmin’s family and friends and with those of her boyfriend, Josh.

"This is a shocking tragedy and many staff and former pupils are deeply affected by Tazmin’s death.

“A bright, articulate, extremely talented young lady has been cruelly taken from us. A life full of promise snatched away. She will be remembered for her successes in the swimming pool at Midlands and National ISA competitions.

“But Tazmin was also a good friend to my own daughter while at Bowbrook as they were in the same year, this has been a shock to us all both at home and at school.

"I personally remember her as an intelligent and engaging pupil, committed to all aspects of school life, the choir, to all school sports and of course to her studies.

“She stayed in touch with us when she moved on to Ellesmere College on her swimming scholarship and often visited. She will be sadly missed by many here at Bowbrook House School.” 

Mr Kirk, 21,  was a former pupil of Chantry High School in Martley and lived in Worcester.

Detective Inspector Mark Roberts said: “We are leading a thorough investigation with the support of partners across a number of agencies.

“Our thoughts remain with their families.

“I want to reassure members of the local community that no one is being sought in connection with the incident and public safety is not a concern.”

The couple were in the house on the A44 between Cotheridge and Broadwas, near Worcester, but could not be saved despite 30 firefighters and officers being sent to fight the fire. 

Paramedics from a passing ambulance initially spotted the fire and stopped to help while firefighters and police officers rushed to the house at around 8pm on Sunday evening. 

A spokesperson from West Mercia Police said: “Officers attended to assist with closing the road to enable firefighters to deal with the incident. 

“Sadly, a 21-year old male and an 18-year old female have been found inside deceased. 

“Next of kin have been informed.”

The fire service was called out at 7.49pm and sent seven appliances to the home, which is not visible from the main road, but is opposite Hilltop Farm, Cotheridge.