Bexleyheath house fire: Boy, 4, baby girl and two women die in horror blaze

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London Fire Commissioner Andy Roe said: “This is a truly terrible incident which is both sad and shocking.”

Two young children - and boy and a girl - and two women have died in a house fire in Bexleyheath.

The father of two children killed in a horrific blaze received a final call from his wife shouting “fire! Fire!” before the line went dead and she also perished amid the inferno.

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Devastated relatives of the two kids, their mum and her own mother, who lost their lives in the fire, sobbed as they attended the scene today and read messages of condolence on several bouquets left by well-wishers.

Six fire engines and around 40 firefighters were scrambled to the blaze at a house in Hamilton Road at 8.30pm last night.

Crews in breathing apparatus rescued two women and two children from the first floor using a nine-metre ladder.

London Fire Brigade said: “Sadly they all died at the scene.”

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Hamilton Road, Bexleyheath, where the fire broke out. Credit: GoogleHamilton Road, Bexleyheath, where the fire broke out. Credit: Google
Hamilton Road, Bexleyheath, where the fire broke out. Credit: Google | Google

A man, who said he was a cousin of the husband he called Yogan, declined to give the victims’ names.

However, he said the boy who died was four-years-old while his sister was around 18 months of age.

The man confirmed the family were from Sri Lanka and his cousin’s mother-in-law had booked a flight to return home today.

They are unaware of where in the house the fire started, but believe it may have been downstairs.

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The house was bought just three months ago, according to the family.

Other than the husband, the other survivor was a brother-in-law who jumped from the top floor and broke his legs.

Half of the ground floor and the whole of the first floor of the house was gutted by the blaze.

The fire was put out by 9.45pm by crews from Bexley, Erith, Plumstead, Lee Green and Sidcup stations

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The London Fire Brigade said the cause of fire is under investigation, however police say it is not thought to be suspicious.

Another cousin, who gave his name as Jega said: “We’ve seen them recently at a wedding - two or three weeks ago. Happy children. It’s an accident you can’t prepare for.

“I think he said that a call from his wife and she was just shouting, fire, fire and the call went dead. It went silent.”

He continued: “We call him Yogan, he’s 40.

“The mother-in-law was supposed to be flying back to Sri Lanka today.

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“What I heard is they were packing her stuff to get her to Gatwick today. They were upstairs - we don’t know exactly where but it might have started downstairs or in the staircase.

“His brother-in-law was also upstairs, he jumped out of the window but he survived.

“It’s so sad. It’s so sad. Yogan can’t speak. It’s very sad - it’s impossible to describe what he’s going through.

“His brother-in-law is in hospital - no one has had the chance to speak to him yet. We’ve heard broken legs.

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“It is a tragedy. You can’t prepare for these kinds of things. You never expect things to happen in the family.

“He just bought the house three months ago. They have two young children. He was at work at the time of the incident. He works local in retail.

“We just came to see him and we don’t know how to comfort him. He’s the only surviving member of his family.

“His two sisters also live close by. Hopefully they can be there for him.”

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Another cousin, who declined to give his name: said: “That night he was at his workplace he got a call from his wife. That is what I heard from him.

“He had a call from his wife about 8.30pm. He said that he heard ‘fire fire’ and then the phone was cut off. He rushed back and tried to get in but he wasn’t able to.

“The children - the oldest one is four and the other one is one--and-a-half. They bought the house about three months ago but lived here [in the UK] for more than 15 years.

“I found out this morning from the news and then I called him. He’s back from hospital now. He’s very upset.”

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London Fire Commissioner Andy Roe paid condolences to the four who lost their lives.

He said: “This is a truly terrible incident which is both sad and shocking.

“Our thoughts are with the family, friends and local community at this difficult time.”

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “I am heartbroken to hear that two women and two children have tragically lost their lives in a house fire in Bexley last night.

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“My heart goes out to all their loved ones and the local community at this awful time.

“The London Fire Brigade worked tirelessly at the scene to put out the fire and I remain in close contact with them over their urgent investigation into this terrible incident.”

Det Ch Supt Trevor Lawry, head of policing for Bexley, said: “Our thoughts are with the family of the deceased, who have suffered such an awful and devastating loss.

“We have officers in the location and I know these sentiments are shared by residents across the Bexley and London as a whole.

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“Our inquiries are ongoing and we will continue to work with our colleagues in the London Fire Brigade to fully understand the cause of this terrible incident.

“In these very early stages we don’t believe the cause of the fire is suspicious.”

A neighbour, who lives around 10 yards from the scene of the blaze, said she did not hear a fire alarm.

She said the family were new to the area having only moved in earlier in the summer.

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Ling Han, 36, a full-time mum to a boy and two girls aged 9, 11, and 12, said: “My kids heard young kids screaming at about 8.30pm and I just ran to their bedroom and saw the flames big already.

“The firefighters were soon there.

“The fire was so big, it went out of the house, it was a huge flame. It was so scary.

“We were about 10 metres away from their bathroom. I was very concerned because it could have spread.

“We heard kids screaming. But when we saw the fire, it was already a big fire. The window was black already and the glass was breaking.

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“There were about six fire engies. There may have been more. There were so many police.

“I feel shocked. When you see that fire, I know there is family there. We knew we couldn’t do anything.”

She added: “My kids are scared and they’re worried about the family. They know there are kids there.

“When they saw the young girl being carried out by the fireman, they were hopeful at first, but they realised they were trying to do CPR and they couldn’t revive her.

“They tried really hard - maybe an hour - to revive her.

“I could see them carrying out two children and a woman.”

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She added: “What’s strange is I didn’t hear any fire alarm. Maybe it was too late.

“I didn’t hear a fire alarm at all. We’re very close to the house - about 10 metres away.

“I’m still shocked. I never thought this would happen around me in my life.

“We just changed the batteries in the fire alarm. Hopefully the police will come and what caused the fire - that’s what is important.”

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