A murder investigation has been opened by Strathclyde police after a talented young golfer and his sister died in a fire at their home in Scotland.

Police are waiting until all next of kin have been informed to name the victims but according to The Telegraph, Thomas Sharkey, 21, died at the scene, while his sister, Bridget Sharkey, 8, died later in hospital. Their parents are being treated for severe burns.

Detectives are still working to uncover the cause of the fire, which broke out on Sunday morning. A police spokesperson added that full post-mortem examinations will be carried out to establish the exact cause of death.

Chief Inspector Fergus Byrne, the area commander for Strathclyde Police, said: "This investigation is continuing, however, we believe that this fire was started intentionally and the deaths are now being treated as murder."

Detective Chief Inspector Anne McKerchar, the officer in charge of the investigation, added: "This is a tragic event made worse by the fact that it was a deliberate act."

Thomas Sharkey had returned to his home in Helensburgh, Dunbartonshire, from Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Georgia, USA, where it is believed he was on a scholarship studying sport.

In particular, Mr Sharkey was a keen golfer, having been both junior and senior champion at Helensburgh Golf Club, where he was a member.

Mr Sharkey described himself as "ambitious and competitive", adding that his grandfather and father had been the biggest influence on his athletics career "for teaching him the game of golf".