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Mother and five children die in London house fire

A mother and five of her children died after a fire swept through their home in the early hours of yesterday.

The family's father and a sixth child -- a teenage girl -- escaped the blaze in Neasden, north west London, but remained in hospital last night.

The fire, which broke out at the house in Sonia Gardens at around 1am, is not being treated as suspicious, police said.

The victims have been named as Muna Elmufatish (41); teenage daughters Hanin and Basma (14 and 13); nine-year-old daughter Amal; and sons Mustafa and Yehya, aged five and two.

Father Bassam Kua (51), and 16-year-old daughter Nur escaped from the house but remained in hospital last night. He was said to be in a stable condition while she was described as critical.

Metropolitan Police said the fire had been deemed "non-suspicious" after an investigation by officers and the London Fire Brigade.

Chief Superintendent Matthew Gardner said a "thorough and painstaking" investigation was being carried out into the cause.

"At this time this is not, I repeat not, a suspicious circumstance," he said at the scene. "Our thoughts and sympathies go out to the friends and family of the victims who now have to come to terms with this terrible loss of life." Post-mortem examinations will be scheduled in due course, police said.

Irish Independent