Thursday 16 August 2018

Death of a boy (7) in house fire being treated as murder

Undated photo of Joel Urhie who was named by his father as the seven year old boy who died in a house fire on Adolphus Street, Deptford, south-east London. Issue date: Tuesday August 7, 2018. Family handout/PA Wire
Undated photo of Joel Urhie who was named by his father as the seven year old boy who died in a house fire on Adolphus Street, Deptford, south-east London. Issue date: Tuesday August 7, 2018. Family handout/PA Wire
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

The death of seven-year-old Joel Urhie in a house fire in Deptford, south east London, is being treated as murder, Detective Superintendent Jane Corrigan has said.

London Fire Brigade said six fire engines and approximately 35 firefighters were called to the fire on Adolphus Street, Deptford in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

The service said: "Firefighters arrived to find a very severe fire inside the house. The ground floor was badly damaged by the blaze, as well as the whole of the first floor and the stairs from the ground to the first floor.

"Two women jumped from first floor level shortly before the first firefighters arrived at scene. They were both treated at the scene by firefighters and London Ambulance Service crews.

"Sadly, a seven-year-old boy was found deceased by firefighters inside the property.

"The Brigade was called at 3.25am and the fire was brought under control by 4.48am. Fire crews from Dockhead, Greenwich, New Cross and Lewisham fire stations attended the incident.

Neighbours told of their shock at the boy's death as investigators worked inside the fire-ravaged house behind a police cordon.

"I saw him last on Friday. It was my birthday so we had a barbecue," said Wale Arthur, 39. "He was a very happy lad."

A family friend, who asked not to be named, described him as a "very quiet boy".

"I saw him on Sunday. He came to my house and we took him to church," she said.

The family friend said the boy lived in the house with his mother, a nurse, and his sister.

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