Tuesday 7 August 2018

Death Of Boy, 7, Killed In Deptford House Fire Being Treated As Murder

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The death of a seven-year-old boy who was killed in a house fire is being treated as murder, police have said. Joel Urhie was found dead after the fire in Deptford, south-east London. His mother, sister and brother are in the hospital. Detective Superintendent Jane Corrigan, of Lewisham Police, said: ‘An innocent seven-year-old boy has lost his life in what should have been the safest place for him, his home.

‘We’re treating this as a murder investigation. ‘We believe that the fire was started deliberately but at this stage I am unable to go into any further detail due to operational reasons. ‘We have no idea what the motive for this attack was. ‘We’ve got no suspects at this time.’ Joel’s mother Sophie, sister Sarah, 19 and brother Sam, 21, managed to escape the fire in the early hours of this morning. Six fire engines and around 35 firefighters tackled the blaze in Adolphus Street after they were called at 3.25am on Tuesday.

Joel’s father described him as a ‘a very lovely boy who was just loving life’. ‘It’s a terrible loss,’ he added. He said he was supposed to see his son on Monday but did not because Joel’s mother, Sophie, wanted to take him out. John Urhie, 54, added: ‘He played with everyone around here. He was a very nice looking boy. ‘It’s terrible, the pain we can never forget.’ Neighbour and close family friend Grace Gbenedio, 56, said she rushed outside after hearing screams.
John Urhie speaking near the scene of a house fire on Adolphus Street, Deptford, south-east London, in which his son, Joel, seven, died. The Metropolitan Police have said they are treating the fire as suspicious. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday August 7, 2018. See PA story FIRE Deptford. Photo credit should read: Thomas Hornall/PA Wire

She said she held Mrs Urhie and asked her where Joel was, and she said: ‘My son is inside, my son is inside.’ Mrs Gbenedio said: ‘She was on the floor crying “Help, help, help”. Next-door neighbour Andre Pavanello, 21, said: ‘As I came out here I heard screaming and the front of the window smashed.’ He added: ‘I think that he (the boy) was trapped inside the room because the flames were way too big to start with.’ Clive Stagg, 64, said ‘all hell was breaking loose’ and added: ‘I have never seen anything like it. The whole house was ablaze. ‘You couldn’t even get near it, even if you would have tried.’

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