A fire which ripped through a residential home in northwest London on early Saturday morning has been deemed non-suspicious following a preliminary investigation, police said.
The London Fire Brigade said it was called to a home in Neasden, an area in northwest London, at around 12.50 a.m. local time after a report of a fire. Six fire engines and 30 firefighters, as well as several ambulances and police vehicles, responded to the scene.
The ground floor and first floor of the two-story semi detached house was badly damaged by the fire, which resulted in six children and their mother being killed. Two other family members were able to escape from the house before firefighters arrived at the scene.
"We sent the air ambulance doctor in a car, four ambulance crews, our hazardous area response team, a single clinician in a fast response car and two duty managers," a spokesperson for the London Ambulance Service said. "Sadly four children and one adult were dead at the scene. Our staff treated a five year old boy in cardiac arrest but, despite extensive efforts, were unable to resuscitate him."
Police said there was no immediate evidence of foul play. "The fire at a residential property in Neasden in which six members of the same family died has been deemed non-suspicious following an investigation by the Metropolitan Police and London Fire Brigade," Scotland Yard said in a statement on Saturday afternoon. It gave no other details about the cause of the blaze.
The six people who died were identified as 41-year-old Muna Elmufatish, the mother of 14-year-old Hanin Kua, 13-year-old Basma Kua, 9-year-old Amal Kua, 5-year-old Mustafa Kua and 2-year-old Yehya Kua. The two people injured were identified as 51-year-old Bassam Kua, the father of the family, and 16-year-old daughter Nur Kua.
"Our thoughts and sympathies go out to the friends and family of the victims, who are now having to come to terms with this terrible loss of life," said Chief Superintendent Matthew Gardner of Brent Police.
London Fire Commissioner Ron Dobson said firefighters arrived within minutes of the call and worked 'extremely hard and did all they could' in the difficult conditions. "Our thoughts and sympathies are with the families of those who died in the fire," he added.
The London Fire Brigade said the first fire engine arrived at the scene within four minutes while a second engine arrived within seven minutes. The blaze, one of London's deadliest in recent years, was brought under control by 2.50 a.m. local time.