Mum and five children die in fire
A mother and five of her children died after a fire swept through their home 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 -- he was said to be stable 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.
Post-mortem examinations and formal identification will be scheduled in due course, police said. Chief Superintendent Matthew Gardner said officers would be conducting "reassurance patrols" in the local area and places of worship, as well as liaising with local schools to update pupils who may have known the children.
Emergency workers were called to the property in the early hours after the blaze took hold of the ground and first floors. One neighbour described hearing a loud bang, almost like an "explosion".
Station manager Glen Gorman, from the London Fire Brigade, said 30 firefighters battled against "very intense heat and smoke".
"It was a very difficult situation, and whilst they were dealing with that they managed to prevent the fire from spreading to the adjoining property and prevented further injury or loss of life," he said.
A London Ambulance Service spokeswoman said four of the children and their mother were found dead at the scene. Medics tried to resuscitate five-year-old Mustafa, who was in cardiac arrest, but could not save him.