UK
13/09/2013 12:47 BST | Updated 13/09/2013 14:13 BST

Leicester House Fire Being Treated As Murder, Say Police After Four People Die

The deaths of four people in a house fire in Leicester are being treated as murder, police have said.

A mother and her three children were killed in the fire, at their terraced home in Wood Hill in the Spinney Hills area of the city on Friday morning.

The woman, who was in her 40s and named locally as Shehnila Taufiq, died alongside her 19-year-old daughter and sons, aged 17 and 15.

leicester house fire

The aftermath of the blaze

Police said they could not rule out a link with the murder of a man in his 20s in nearby Kent Street several hours earlier.

On Friday, Assistant Chief Constable Roger Bannister said Leicestershire Police had launched a murder inquiry over the blaze and were examining the possibility of it being a revenge attack.

Emergency crews had been called to reports of a man being assaulted in Kent Street at 5.30pm on Thursday.

Police have not released details of his injuries but he was taken to Leicester Royal Infirmary where he died.

At 12.30am on Friday firefighters battled to extinguish the blaze at the Wood Hill property which is half a mile away from the assault scene, which detectives said was busy when the man was injured.

Urging witnesses to get in touch, Mr Bannister said it was possible both offences, which he described as "terrible, terrible crimes", were linked.

He said officers were exploring different lines of inquiry but one included the fire potentially being a revenge attack.