Forest Gate murder
A man and woman have been arrested on suspicion of murder after a 60-year-old burned to death in a house fire

A man and a woman are being questioned on suspicion of murder after a 60-year-old died in a Christmas Day house fire in Forest Gate, London. Police arrested the 27-year-old man and a 32-year-old woman on Monday (28 December).

Police were called at around 4.50am to reports of a fire at a house in Field Road. Twenty-one firefighters and four engines from the London Fire Brigade attended the scene. The body of a 60-year-old man was discovered inside the terraced home.

He was pronounced dead at the scene and a post-mortem examination held at East Ham Mortuary gave the preliminary cause of death as burns and inhalation of fire fumes. Police believe the fire was started deliberately.

While officers are confident they know the identity of the deceased, they await formal identification and confirmation that all next of kin have been informed. The cause of the fire is still being investigated.

A statement from the London Fire Brigade said: "The fire badly damaged the two-storey terraced property and crews wearing breathing apparatus found the body of a man on the ground floor. Sadly he was confirmed dead at the scene. Four other people escaped the house before the brigade arrived."