Four ‘sweet’ children under five years old – believed to be two sets of twins – have died days before Christmas after a fire tore through a house in south London last night.
The victims, who are understood to be related, were pulled from the inferno in Sutton by firefighters but could not be saved despite frantic resuscitation attempts in the street.
According to MailOnline the young children were alone in the house when London’s fire service arrived – but it is not yet known if anyone had escaped the blaze before the rescue began.
Heartbroken neighbours claimed that the children, all under five, were two sets of ‘sweet natured and happy twins’. It is not yet known of anyone was in the house with them when the blaze broke out, or how the fire started. The Metropolitan Police said the children’s next of kin were ‘aware’ and being supported, but there have been no arrests.
More than 60 firefighters in eight engines raced to the ‘intense’ blaze on Collingwood Road at around 7pm last night.
Footage from the scene shows flames erupting from the front door of the terraced property. Smoke is also seen billowing from the ground-floor front window. A bystander can be seen attempting to get close to the blaze but is forced back.
Firefighters in breathing apparatus battled their way into the fire to rescue the children, London Fire Commissioner Andy Row said. He said the tragedy had left his crews ‘numb with profound sadness’ and they would be offered counselling.
The blaze tore through the terraced property in Collingwood Road, Sutton, at around 7pm. Footage filmed by neighbours showed flames erupting from the front door
Mr Roe said: ‘My thoughts are with the family and friends of the children, the whole local community and all those who will be affected by this fire.
‘Fire crews arrived quickly and located the children inside the property.
‘They were brought out of the house and given immediate emergency care.
‘The welfare of our staff involved in this incident is very important to us and all of them will be offered counselling as a priority.’
The fire was brought under control 90 minutes after crews arrived, he added.
The cause of the blaze was being investigated and there had been no arrests, police said.
Superintendent Rob Shepherd said: ‘The thoughts of everyone at the South Area Command Unit are with the family and friends of these four young children, who have suffered such a devastating and tragic loss tonight.
‘I know these sentiments will be shared by the local community, Sutton and London as a whole.
‘We remain on scene with our emergency service colleagues and will be working through the night and beyond. At this very early stage the cause of the fire is unknown and will be investigated.’