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Dublin: 10 °C Sunday 18 November, 2018
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Murder investigation launched after 7-year-old boy dies in fire

“The pain his family must be enduring at this time, is difficult to imagine,” police said.

Joel Urhie
Joel Urhie
Image: Family handout

POLICE IN LONDON have launched a murder investigation after a seven-year-old boy died in a fire.

Shortly before 3:30am today, police officers and members of the London Fire Brigade and London Ambulance Service attended an address in Deptford in southeast London following reports of a fire.

They found the body of Joel Urhie inside the property.

His mother and sister managed to escape the flat by jumping from the first floor of the building. They are currently being treated in hospital and their injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.

There were no other occupants at the address, police said.

“This is a truly shocking incident and I extend my sympathies, along with those of the other emergency services, to Joel’s family and friends at this tragic time.

“We are working closely with the London Fire Brigade to establish the exact cause of the fire and are now treating this as a murder investigation. Detectives from our Homicide and Major Crime Command are in the process of taking over the lead for this investigation,” Detective Superintendent Jane Corrigan said.

Suspicious activity

Corrigan thanked the community for their support, adding that local people can help police “piece together what happened in the early hours of this morning”.

“I would directly appeal to anyone who was in the area and saw anything suspicious at around 3:30am, or who has any information about who was responsible for starting the fire, to contact police immediately.

An innocent seven-year-old boy has lost his life in what should have been the safest place for him – his own home. The pain his family must be enduring at this time, is difficult to imagine.

Anyone who has relevant information has been asked to call 0208 345 3715 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously via 0800 555 111.

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Órla Ryan

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