FIVE members of a family, including a woman and her three children, were killed in a house fire in west London last Sunday (12) evening.
The woman has been identified as Seema Ratra, but the three children have not been named. Their father, Aroen Kishen, who survived the fire, was reportedly taken to hospital, Sky News reported. Another adult died and one person has remained unaccounted for. Media reports said the two unnamed adults had been visiting the family for Diwali.
There was no immediate indication of what caused the fire at the mid-terraced property in Hounslow near Heathrow airport, and a neighbour dismissed suggestions that Diwali fireworks were to blame.
Fire crew and police were called to the property at about 10:30pm last Sunday. The bodies of the five victims were discovered inside the property, they said.
The London Fire Brigade (LFB) said on Monday (13) that a man fled the Channel Close house before firefighters arrived and he was being treated in hospital.
The fire destroyed the ground and first floor of the property and was brought under control by 1:25am on Monday, it added.
“The family had been letting off fireworks earlier in the evening for Diwali, but it was nothing to do with that as it was earlier than the fire,” Felica Matei, a neighbour, was quoted as telling the Evening Standard.
“We saw the man who lived there with his wife and children. My daughter used to play with his daughter. There was fire … and he was screaming something like ‘my kids, my kids’,” the jeweller said.
Scotland Yard said that detectives and LFB were investigating the incident. Chief Superintendent Sean Wilson, responsible for policing in Hounslow, said: “My thoughts are with the loved ones of those who very sadly lost their lives in this tragic incident.
“I don’t underestimate the impact that this will have on the wider community and beyond. I understand that there will be a demand for answers and my officers are working to establish exactly what has happened.”
The injuries of the man who left the house prior to the arrival of emergency services and was taken to hospital were “not believed to be life-threatening”, the Met Police said.
Nearby properties had been evacuated as a precaution, the police added.