London, November 20
The body of a sixth person who went missing in a house fire in west London that killed five members of a Indian-origin family, including three children, has been found, police said.
Seema Ratra and her three children -- Riyan, Shanaya and Arohi -- died along with a house guest in a blaze that took hold in Channel Close, Hounslow, on November 12 during Diwali celebrations.
Ratra's husband Aroen Kishen who managed to escape the fire has been recovering in the hospital.
Confirming that a sixth body has now been found at the home by firefighters, police said the deaths were being treated as "unexplained".
"For many days now the scene has been too unstable and dangerous to complete many of our inquiries. It was only after the walls were shored up, and the roof removed, that it became safe enough for search teams to enter the premises," senior investigating officer Detective Chief Inspector Garth Hall said.
“We have now been able to sadly confirm the death of a sixth person," Hall added, expressing condolences to all those affected by the incident.
A joint probe between the Metropolitan Police and London Fire Brigade continues to investigate the cause of fire.
"We intend to complete a meticulous investigation into how this tragedy happened...The investigation into the cause of the fire continues and I must express my thanks to the London Fire Brigade, their knowledge and experience has been crucial in helping us understand what may have happened that dreadful night," Hall said.
Police said the post-mortem examination would take place in due course and the families of all those concerned had been informed and are being supported.
Ten fire engines and about 70 firefighters were pressed into service to control the blaze in which the ground floor and first floor of the mid-terrace house were destroyed and part of the roof was also damaged.
Neighbours said they witnessed Kishen escaping the home screaming, "my kids, my kids", after the fire.
The London Fire Brigade said it was too early to know whether fireworks or candles for recent Diwali celebrations caused the fire.
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