Murder probe launched after London toddler's fire death

Aftermath of fire
Image caption Two women and three children were unconscious when they were rescued from the flat

A murder inquiry has been launched after a 19-month-old girl died in a fire in a south-east London flat.

Fire crews pulled a family of five, including the toddler, from the two-bedroom first-floor flat in Arnould Avenue, Camberwell, at about 0440 BST.

All five - a woman in her 40s, a woman in her 20s, a teenage girl, a four-year-old boy and the toddler - were unconscious. The toddler later died.

Police said they needed help "to piece together what had happened".

Acting Detective Chief Inspector Rick Murphy, from the Metropolitan Police, said: "This fire has wrecked the lives of those involved."

He added that he was "looking to the community" for help.

Police said the teenage girl is in a critical condition in hospital and the two women and the boy are in a serious condition.

'Fire unexplained'

Emergency crews said the flat was completely destroyed in the blaze.

A London Fire Brigade spokeswoman said, "100% of the two-bedroom flat on the first floor was damaged by fire."

A total of eight ambulances and four fire engines attended the blaze.

Fire crews, who entered the property via an internal staircase, used thermal imaging cameras and breathing apparatus in their attempt to rescue the family.

A police spokesman said: "The fire is being treated as unexplained at this moment.

"Officers are working alongside London Fire Brigade to establish the cause of the fire."

A post mortem examination into the toddler's death will be arranged shortly, police said.

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