Neasden fire: Woman and five children die in house blaze

Six people from the same family - believed to be a mother and five of her children - have died in a house fire in Neasden, north-west London.

A 41-year-old woman, three girls aged nine, 13 and 14, and two boys aged two and five died when flames engulfed their home in Sonia Gardens just before 1am this morning (Saturday).

A 16-year-old girl, reported to have jumped from a first-floor window, is in a critical condition and a 55-year-old man is stable after they were rescued from the blaze.

The survivors are thought to be the woman’s husband and daughter.

It is understood the family was originally from Palestine and had rented the home for a few months.

Glen Gorman, from London Fire Brigade, said fire crews were at the scene four minutes after they received a call from a member of the public.

He said: “We received a call just before 1am. Six fire engines and 35 firefighters were at the house which was engulfed in flames.

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“Sadly six people have died.”

He added: “My thoughts, and those of my colleagues at the London Fire Brigade, are with the friends, family and loved ones of those affected at this extremely sad and difficult time.

“We are now working with the police to ensure a full and thorough investigation is carried out.”

A spokesman for the police said the fire is being treated as ‘unexplained’.

Navin Shah, London Assembly member for Brent and Harrow and member of the London Fire Emergency Planning Authority, said: “My sympathies go out to the family and friends affected by this tragedy.”

A neighbour who wished to remain anonymous said: “I was in my room and the window was open.

“I heard a loud bang, it was literally like an explosion, almost like a bomb.

“I thought it was really strange and within four minutes I heard sirens and police cars and we looked out the window and the fire had literally reached the top within five minutes.

“We all went outside and we saw firemen looking out the window and shouting ‘there’s people in there’.”

“It was horrific, my dad says he’s never seen anything like it in his whole life, honestly I was so shocked.”

Mayor of London Boris Johnson tweeted today: “Tragic news from Neasden. Our thoughts go out to friends and family. Investigation under way.”

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