Police are investigating the death of Rache Osei in New Malden, south London, who died in flames on the street
Police are investigating the death of Rache Osei in New Malden, south London, who died in flames on the street

The young woman who burned to death in a south London street has been named locally as Rachel Osei.

The Richmond and Twickenham Times reported that the victim, who died in flames on the side of a road in New Malden, was an 18-year-old mother, apparently of a three-year-old son.

She had reportedly been a promising PE student at St Mary's University College in Twickenham.

Friends of the teenager said they did not believe she committed suicide, although her death is not being treated as suspicious at this time by Scotland Yard.

Osei was living in temporary accommodation in Raynes Park when she died. Initial enquiries indicate the fire may have started in a residential property.

Scotland Yard have not yet officially named the victim.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: "The death is being treated as unexplained at this time, however early indications would suggest that it is not suspicious.

"In particular we would like to speak to three members of the public who assisted in trying to save the woman's life by trying to extinguish the flames at the time of the incident."

St Mary's College paid tribute to its former student. A spokesman said: "Rachel was a promising physical secondary education student who will be missed by staff and students across the St Mary's community and we extend our deepest sympathy to her family and friends at this very sad time."

Tributes were also paid on Twitter by Osei's friends.