Sixth body found after Hounslow house fire as probe continues
Sixth body found after Hounslow house fire: Police make tragic discovery as probe into whether Diwali fireworks caused blaze continues
Police investigating a fatal house fire in Hounslow at the weekend have confirmed that a sixth person was killed alongside two adults and three children.
The Metropolitan Police says it is continuing its enquiries into the fire on Sunday at 10.30pm in Channel Close in west London, which locals have speculated may have been caused by Diwali fireworks.
The bodies of five people – among them mother Seema Ratra and her three young children, named locally as Riyan, Shanaya and Arohi – were found in the home, while a sixth person was unaccounted for.
Police confirmed on Thursday that they had found a sixth body in the home, and that the bodies discovered were those of both adults and children. Formal identification has not taken place and the deaths are currently being treated as ‘unexplained’.
Officers say it took days to secure the property and make it safe enough to enter before a full search of the property could be carried out.
Aroen Kishen and his wife Seema with their children. The family was in the house on Channel Close, Hounslow, when the blaze broke out
Emergency services at the scene in Channel Close, Hounslow, west London, of the tragic house fire that is now known to have killed six people
The fire tore a hole in the roof of the property; the roof has since been partially removed by investigators
Emergency services personnel at the scene of the Hounslow fire on Monday, a day after it happened
Floral tributes were left at the scene of the fire by members of the community, including by a local primary school
Up to ten fire appliances and 70 firefighters from at least five fire stations were dispatched to the scene in order to temper the blaze, bringing it under control by around 1.25am.
Seema’s husband, Aroen Kishen, was seen screaming ‘My kids, my kids’ as the fire ripped through the property.
Police say a man was taken to hospital with serious burns, for which he is still receiving treatment. His condition is not thought to be life-threatening.
READ MORE: Primary school leaves heartbreaking floral tributes to three children killed in Hounslow house fire
Detective Chief Inspector Garth Hall, senior investigating officer, said: ‘Firstly, I want to express my sincere condolences to all those affected by this terrible incident.
‘The deaths of so many people, including children, is simply heart-breaking. We intend to complete a meticulous investigation into how this tragedy happened.
‘For many days now the scene has been too unstable and dangerous to complete many of our inquiries. It was only after the walls were shored up, and the roof removed, that it became safe enough for search teams to enter the premises.’
‘We have now been able to sadly confirm the death of a sixth person.’
DCI Hall added that the cause of the fire has not been ascertained. Neighbours had speculated that the blaze may have been caused by an errant, misfiring firework, but a relative of Mr Kishen said that the fire may have started in an outside bin.
The investigating officer continued: ‘These deaths are still being treated as unexplained and we are liaising closely with the coroner.
‘We understand that family and communities will be looking for answers, but this will be a thorough investigation and we will not rush to any judgement, but follow where the evidence leads.
‘Should there be any change in the nature of this inquiry, we will share that information immediately.’
Post-mortem examinations and formal identification are planned to take place in due course.
The Met is continuing to appeal for witnesses in the meantime – including anyone who may have footage of the fire – vowing that ‘any bit of information, no matter how small’ will prove useful.
Anyone who can help is asked to call police on 101 or via the @MetCC account on X, formerly known as Twitter, quoting Operation Hamalton.
The Metropolitan Police said it took time to make the house safe to access following the fire
The roof was removed and walls were shored up in order to make the property safe to access for investigators – leading to the discovery of a sixth body
Heartbreaking tributes have been left to the family at the scene by the community
Used fireworks sit in the street close to the scene of the fatal fire in Channel Close, Hounslow
The remnants of a bonfire in an alleyway at the end of Channel Close. Police say they are keeping ‘an open mind’ as to the cause of the blaze
The tragedy has rocked the street of Channel Close in Hounslow, where neighbours described their terror at running for cover as the fire took hold.
A primary school left a heartbreaking tribute to the three children, Riyan, Shanaya and Arohi, close to where the fire had taken place.
Tributed left to Riyan by fellow year six pupils at Springwell School said they were ‘all crying today and missing you’.
Neighbour Felicia Matei, 29, told MailOnline: ‘We saw the man who lived there with his wife and children. My daughter used to play with his daughter.
‘He was screaming something like “my kids, my kids”. It was a big fire. I screamed to my family and said we need to run away.’
Another neighbour told how she feared the fatal house fire in Hounslow had been caused by a ‘misfired firework’; fireworks and candles are lit during Diwali to symbolise the victory of good over evil by bringing light to darkness.
The local said: ‘Yesterday was Diwali and there were a lot of fireworks flying around.
‘So when I heard that a house had caught fire I thought it must have been the result of a firework that had been misfired.’
She added: ‘It’s so sad that something terrible like this has happened. Because it’s Diwali everyone was dressed up in nice clothes and everyone was happy.
‘But the amount of fireworks being let off made it dangerous to be out in the streets.’
Firefighters on the scene of the Hounslow house fire on Monday. Investigations are continuing into the cause after a sixth body was found
At least 10 fire engines and 70 firefighters from at least five fire stations attended the blaze on Sunday November 13, bringing it under control by 1.25am on Monday
A heartfelt tribute from one of Riyan’s classmates, which says that the youngster’s friends are ‘all crying today and missing you’ and that they are ‘still part of our family’
Another tribute from Springwell School, which reads: ‘Words cannot even begin to express our sorrow at hearting the loss of these beautiful souls’
Speaking to reporters at the scene earlier this week, Met Police chief superintendent Sean Wilson said he was keeping ‘an open mind’ on whether fireworks may have played a role in the fire.
He said: ‘At this stage, this is being investigated both by ourselves and specialist fire officers. I am not ruling anything out, I don’t think we are in a position to do that.’
The Evening Standard reports that the Kishen family had recently moved to London from Belgium.
Mr Kishen’s brother-in-law Dileep Singh, who lives in Manchester but travelled to London when news of the fire broke out, told the paper the family was ‘desperate for information’.
He said: ‘I received a call and came as soon as I could with my wife we are desperate for information.
‘My brother in law is alive but I don’t know what has happened to everyone else. We are desperate. I was told the fire came from outside from a bin.’
Speaking to MyLondon, Kirit Valand, 70, lives on nearby Sutton Road, also said he had heard fireworks.
He said: ‘I was worried the fire would spread further. There were fireworks going off across the area for Diwali. It’s very sad.’
London Fire Commissioner Andy Roe said on Monday: ‘This is a terribly sad incident and the thoughts of all of us at London Fire Brigade are with the family, friends and all those affected at this difficult time.’
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