A girl who died in a suspected arson attack in east London has been named as 15-year-old Tiffany Regis.
The Metropolitan Police are appealing for witnesses to come forward after a fire on Thursday at a block of flats in Beckton, Newham, east London.
A 16-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of murder that same day and was taken to an east London police station for questioning.
He was released on bail and told to return at a date in May pending further inquiries from investigators.
Tributes have been pouring in for Tiffany, who died of smoke inhalation, according to a post-mortem carried out yesterday evening.
Teenagers were seen hugging and crying as they placed flowers on the pavement outside a block of flats earlier this week.
A card next to the flowers said “Tiffany we love you”. A message inside added: “So sorry for your loss. We are praying and thinking of you at this difficult time. We are always here for you no matter what.”Paying tribute, a man who said he was a family friend described the teenager as “an angel”. The man who gave his name only as Godfrey, 30, said: “I’ve even got videos of her from when she young. “She spent some time with my little nephews. Those memories with her I will never forget.”
A number of others at the address were injured during the blaze, which police are treating as arson, although their injuries were not life-threatening.
Witnesses said they watched people jump from windows onto a mattress to escape the fire, to which police were called at around 5.30pm. Neighbour Inga Tilvikiene said: “First a small boy, four or five years old, jumped… Two guys found an old mattress. About six or seven people [jumped on it]. “One girl just jumped onto the floor, you could see yesterday she was bruised.” Rahina Begum, who lives opposite the flats, described how the fire “went up very quickly, within a few seconds”. She said: “In 10 to 15 seconds the whole building was on fire, from the bottom to the top.”
Detective Chief Inspector Joanna Yorke, of the Met’s Specialist Crime Command, said: “My team continues to piece together the circumstances surrounding the fire last Thursday. “I know that there were a number of young people and residents inside the address before the fire happened and our enquiries are ongoing to identify everyone who was there, not least of all to ensure that everyone is okay. “We are at the very early stages of our investigation and are still keen to hear from anyone who was present or has any information but has not yet spoken with police. Please get in touch.”
Chief Superintendent Simon Crick, who leads the North East Command Unit, said: "My thoughts at this time are with Tiffany and her family and friends.
"Incidents such as these send shockwaves through our communities and I don’t underestimate the impact this will have in the local area and beyond.
"Your officers will be on patrol in the immediate vicinity over the Easter Weekend, please talk to them if you have any concerns."
Mayor of Newham Rokhsana Fiaz, said: “Tiffany’s parents are going through unimaginable pain at the loss of their much loved 15-year-old daughter who brought so much joy. I am deeply upset by this tragic loss of a young life, as is everyone in Newham. "My thoughts and prayers are with Tiffany’s parents, family and friends at this very difficult and heart-breaking time. I am urging anyone with any information to contact the police incident room. "Our priority is to support Tiffany’s parents grieving the loss of their child; and all those young people who have lost a dear friend.” Anyone with information is asked to call the Incident room on 020 8345 3865, via 101 or Tweet @MetCC quoting reference CAD 5315/06Apr.
They can also submit a report completely anonymously to the Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.
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