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Last updated: 22/01/2018, 12:33 PM

Police appeal for witnesses to Christmas Day fatal fire in Forest Gate

07/01/2016 00:42
Waltham Forest
House or flat fire

Police are appealing for information and witnesses about a fatal fire on Christmas morning.

Four fire engines, 21 firefighters and officers were called to a house fire on Field Road in Forest Gate E7 this morning.

The fire badly damaged the two storey terraced property and crews wearing breathing apparatus found the body of a man on the ground floor. Sadly Harbhajan Singh Rooprai, 60, was confirmed dead at the scene. Four other people escaped the house before the Brigade arrived.

Detectives believe was started deliberately.A post-mortem examination held at East Ham Mortuary on Monday, 28 December gave the preliminary cause of death as burns and inhalation of fire fumes.

A murder investigation has been launched under Detective Chief Inspector Steve McCabe of the Homicide and Major Crime Command.

DCI McCabe said: "Mr Rooprai's family have been left devastated by what has happened and are struggling to come to terms with the loss.

"One person has already been charged in connection with the investigation, but is of paramount importance that we speak to all those that were in the vicinity of Field Road in the early hours of Christmas Day for us to establish the full circumstances. I am keen to hear from a number of people seen driving in the area shortly before the fire.

"I am particularly appealing to those within the local community, as I believe the answers lies with them as to why the home in Field Road was targeted. Any information, no matter how small, may just assist with our inquiry."

Anyone with information should contact detectives at the incident room on 020 8345 1570.

You can also give information by contacting Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 if you do not want to give your name.

The Brigade was called 0442 and the fire was under control by 0714. Crews from Stratford, Plaistow, Leytonstone and Leyton fire stations attended the incident.