Harlow fire: Fourth child dies in hospital

A FOURTH child has died in hospital following a house fire in the early hours of this morning (October 15) which also claimed the lives of a mother and three of her children.

It has been reported that the dead victims include two boys, aged six and 13, and an 11 year-old girl. It is unclear how old the fourth child was.

Another child is in hospital in critical condition after suffering serious burns.

Firefighters were called to a house in Barn Mead, Harlow, at around 1.40am where they were faced with a “rapidly developed fire”.

Police say they are treating the fire as suspicious.

Senior investigating officer Det Sup Rob Vinson said: “This is the still the early stages of our investigation into the tragic death of five members of one family, a mother and four of her young children. At this time we are investigating to see whether this fire was started deliberately and need anyone with information to contact us.

As fire crews arrived at Barn Mead at around 1.40am they also found a car alight a short distance away in a car park. This car is not connected to the family involved in the house fire. However, this car fire is being treated as arson. The house will be forensically examined by specialist scientists to find how and where the fire started.

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Det Supt Vinson added: “For the sake of the family, who are trying to come to terms with this tragic incident, I would ask for information from the public, especially in the Harlow area, to help us determine exactly what has happened.”

Anyone who was in the area of Barn Mead in the early hours of Monday who has any information has been asked to contact Essex Police on 101.