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Arson attacks under the spotlight

The work of a new team of forensic scientists in the south east could help uncover whether a fire has been started deliberately. The University of Kent at Canterbury has set up a fire investigation unit to examine suspicious substsances and liquids found at the scene of a blaze. Tom Savvides talks to Emma Wilson from the company Prometheus and Bob Green from the University of Kent

Justice at last for children who died in arson attack

The Khan family outside Oxford Crown Court

The family of two children killed in an arson attack on their Oxford home have spoken for the first time.

Anum Khan, 8 and her brother Majid, 15, died after petrol was squirted through the letterbox of their family home and set alight.

In a statement released by police today, the family said: “Mr and Mrs Khan would first of all like to thank Allah for this day and the police force involved in the arrest of Fiaz Munshi.

The mother of the children added: “As a mother of these beautiful innocent children I have been waiting for sixteen years for this day and I have not been able to visit my son and daughter, Majid and Anum, since they were innocently taken away from me.

“Once justice has been done I have promised myself I will visit Majid and Anum for the first time. This is a very emotional time for everybody so we please ask kindly for some privacy.”

Fiaz Munshi has been jailed for 13 years for the manslaughter of Majid and Anum, who died in a revenge arson attack on their Magdalen Road home in 1997.

Munshi, who is thirty eight, denied a charge of murder but a jury at Oxford Crown Court found her guilty of manslaughter.

Fiaz Munshi travelled with seven others to Amjad Khan's house after he broke off their relationship. Five men were convicted as was Ms Munshi's sister Riaz who was also convicted of manslaughter.

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Teenager arrested after fire in block of derelict flats

Derelict flats set on on fire Credit: Hampshire Fire and Rescue

A 16 year-old has been arrested for arson after fire broke out in a block of derelict flats in Gosport.

Emergency services were called to Livingstone Court, Grange Road, Rowner, where smoke was seen coming from a derelict block of flats in the court, which is being demolished at the moment,

Firefighters at scene of suspected arson in Gosport Credit: Hampshire Fire and Rescue

Officers investigating the cause of the fire, which started in a third floor flat, have arrested a 16-year-old boy on suspicion of arson; he has been released on bail.

Family flee arson attack: Police statement

Detective Constable Chris Hike, of Brighton CID, said: "This was a lucky escape for the family. Had they been asleep at the time the consequences could have been serious.

"Next to the house is a path linking Dorothy Road and Old Shoreham Road, and I would ask anyone who was in the area at around 10pm on Saturday or who has any information as to how the fire may have started to phone Sussex Police on 101 or email 101@sussex.pnn.police.uk, quoting serial 1444 of 10/5.

"Alternatively they can call the independent charity Crimestoppers free and anonymously on 0800 555111."

Family including nine-month-baby flee home after arson attack

A family and their nine-month-old baby were forced to flee from their home after a suspected arson attack.

The blaze broke out in a plastic garden shed at a property standing at the junction of Dorothy Road and Old Shoreham Road in Hove at 10pm on Saturday.

It quickly engulfed a rear-facing kitchen window and realising the fire was too big to fight themselves, the occupants grabbed their baby from upstairs and got out through the front door.

A passing police patrol spotted the fire and radioed for the fire and rescue service to attend.

Fire crews quickly doused the fire before it could further damage the property, but the cause is being treated as suspicious and is now being investigated as possible arson.

Police investigate series of arsons

Police in Southampton are appealing for witnesses and information following a series of arson incidents in the Lordshill and Lordswood areas of Southampton.

Overnight from Friday into Saturday, the offender(s) appear to have taken a specific route from Lordswood Road towards Robina Green.

They set fire to a fence, a for sale board, a refuse bin, a canopy attached to a vehicle and a car wheel.

Police are investigating a series of arsons in Southampton Credit: ITV Meridian

The most serious incident involved a newspaper being set alight and efforts were made to try and post this through the letterbox of a flat where an elderly woman was inside. Fortunately the fire didn't take and no one was injured.

Detective Constable Jonny Hyland said: "We are particularly keen to speak to a person who is believed to have assisted two house occupants by knocking on their doors and telling them that their property was burning. We believe this person is a crucial eye witness."

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Police investigate series of arsons in Southampton

Detectives in Southampton are appealing for witnesses and information following a series of arson incidents in the Lordshill and Lordswood areas of Southampton.

Overnight from Friday into Saturday, the offender(s) appear to have taken a specific route from Lordswood Road towards Robina Green, and have set fire to a fence, a for sale board, a refuse bin, a canopy attached to a vehicle and a car wheel.

The most serious incident involved a newspaper being set alight and efforts were made to try and post this through the letterbox of a flat where an elderly woman was inside. Fortunately the fire didn’t take and no one was injured.

We are particularly keen to speak to a person who is believed to have assisted two house occupants by knocking on their doors and telling them that their property was burning. We believe this person is a crucial eye witness, and we are very keen to speak to them. Equally if you were in the area at the time and saw anything suspicious, please contact me.”

– Detective Constable Jonny Hyland

Teenage girl charged with arson for Sussex school fire

A 16-year-old girl has been charged with arson following a fire at the Millais School in horsham.

The girl, who can not be named for legal reasons, has been charged with arson with intent to endanger life and remanded to attend Crawley Magistrates Court today.

The Millais School in Horsham after the blaze on Thursday Credit: Rachael Kearley

The fire broke out on the third floor of the school at about 3pm on thursday 20th March.

Several classrooms in the school and students' GCSE work were destroyed.

All 1,500 girls at the school escaped unhurt.

6 fire engines were sent to tackle the flames last week Credit: Rachael Kearley
The blaze destroyed classrooms as well as students' work Credit: ITV Meridian

Investigation launched into arson attack

Police are investigating an arson at West Howe Close in Bournemouth Credit: ITV Meridian

Detectives in Bournemouth are appealing for witnesses to an arson attack in the Kinson area of the town. Police say a fire was deliberately started at the front door of a house on West Howe Close in the early hours of yesterday morning.

A 56-year-old woman, her two daughters and a granddaughter were in the house at the time but escaped to safety without injury.

Detective Constable Neil Third, of Bournemouth CID, said: "This is an extremely serious incident and it was very fortunate that no one was hurt. Had the smoke alarm not been working we could be dealing with the deaths of four innocent people.

"I am keen to hear from anyone who saw anything suspicious in the area or knows of someone unusually smelling of petrol or smoke since this crime occurred. I urge anyone who has information about this incident or the offenders to contact Dorset Police urgently."

Mother, daughters and granddaughter caught in house fire started deliberately

Detectives in Bournemouth are appealing for witnesses to an arson attack in the Kinson area of the town. A fire was deliberately started at a front door of a house on West Howe Close at three o'clock on Tuesday morning.

A 56 year-old woman, her two daughters (aged 25 and 21) and her two year old granddaughter were in the house at the time. One of the women jumped from a ledge under the window and got a ladder from a neighbours house and helped the others to safety.

They all escaped to safety and no one was injured. No arrests have been made.

This is an extremely serious incident and it was very fortunate that no one was hurt. Had the smoke alarm not been working we could be dealing with the deaths of four innocent people. I am keen to hear from anyone who saw anything suspicious in the area or knows of someone unusually smelling of petrol or smoke since this crime occurred. I urge anyone who has information about this incident or the offenders to contact Dorset Police urgently. All calls are treated in the strictest confidence.

– Detective Constable Neil Third, of Bournemouth CID
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