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"Gas supply tampered with" in fatal Bolton blaze

House where 3 people died in a fire Photo: ITV Granada Reports

The family of three people who died in a house fire in Bolton have paid tribute to them.

Just before 2.20am on Monday 9 December 2013, police were called by the fire service following a blaze at a house on Albert Road West, Heaton, Bolton.

Dolleh Joseph, aged 74, was rescued from an upstairs bedroom by the fire service and taken to hospital but was sadly pronounced dead a short time later.

A post mortem examination has indicated that she died from smoke inhalation and burns. Following a search of the house two further bodies were discovered in the kitchen.

These have been identified as Mahnaz Rafie, aged 48 and Hassan Rafie, aged 49.

A Home Office post mortem concluded that Mahnaz died as a result of stab wounds and Hassan as a result of smoke inhalation and burns.

In a tribute from Dr Ommid Rafie and Arash Rafie, they said: "We are deeply saddened and heartbroken by the tragic loss of our family.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all services involved for their bravery and dedication and also our neighbours for their patience.

“Our parents would next week have been celebrating 25 years of marriage through which they worked together through the greatest difficulties to build a successful life from scratch.

They were loved by all that knew them. Our father, a successful architect and businessman, was extremely respected in the community, he took many people under his wings and took the world’s problems on his shoulders.

“Our mother, our best friend, our angel, was an extremely strong lady who was deeply and sincerely loved by all.

Despite her heart condition she dedicated her life to her family.

This year we finally persuaded her to do something for herself and ultimately she decided to pursue a career in Law.

She remained strong throughout the course, as she had done throughout life, despite our kind, loving grandma being diagnosed with terminal cancer little under two weeks ago.

“Ultimately we have been able to keep strong throughout this tragedy, but only because of the immense and unconditional love and support of our dear friends to whom we are forever grateful.

Myself as a doctor, and my brother as a soon to be qualified doctor are privileged in that we will use this devastating experience to move forward and help those around us in society and will continue to live by the strong principles by which we were brought up.”

The fire is believed to have been started after a gas supply in the kitchen was tampered with.

This matter is now being investigated by the coroner.

Detective Chief Inspector Phil Reade, said: "Our thoughts remain with family members who have been devastated by what has happened.

“Specialist officers are keeping them updated with our investigation and continuing to support them as best they can.

“Our investigations are continuing on behalf of the coroner and we are now satisfied that we are not looking for anyone else in connection with this incident.”