VIDEO: Three dead in 'suspicious' house fire in Heaton, Bolton

This Is Lancashire: The scene of the fatal fire in Albert Road West, Heaton The scene of the fatal fire in Albert Road West, Heaton

THREE people have died in a house fire in Heaton - which police now say they are treating as suspicious.

Police were called just before 2.20am today by the fire service after a blaze at a house in Albert Road West, Heaton.

Firefighters rescued a woman from the house, and she was taken to hospital but died a short time later.

This Is Lancashire: The scene of the fatal fire in Albert Road West, Heaton

Two more people were found dead inside the house.

The police's major incident team is now leading the inquiry into the fire, but police said they are not looking for anyone in connection with the incident.

The three people who died are believed to be a husband and wife and one of their elderly parents, who was visiting from London.

The couple were named locally as Hassan and Mahnaz Rafie. Mrs Rafie was known to friends as Mona, nearby residents said.

Mr Rafie is thought to have owned the Alfa computer shop in Chorley Old Road, where he was the victim of a robbery in 2001.

Neighbours raised the alarm when they saw flames at the back of the house, and described smoke falling on the area like a fog. The fire has since been put out.

One neighbour said she heard a noise like an explosion, and the sound of slates falling from the roof, thought to have come from the kitchen at the back of the house.

The house is believed to be home to a family of four of Iranian descent, but two sons who live there were not in the house at the time.

One of the children is said to be a doctor working in Preston, called Ommid, while the other is thought to be a medical student, called Arash.

Neighbours paid tribute to the deceased, saying they "could not do enough for you".

Maria Taylor, aged 48, said: "We were supposed to be putting up Christmas decorations today, but how can we do that now? It doesn't seem fitting.

This Is Lancashire: The scene of the fatal fire in Albert Road West, Heaton

"We'll be buying floral tributes instead.

"We're in complete shock and immensely upset. We can't believe that something like this has happened on our doorstep."

Mrs Taylor said she saw a body being recovered from the house and the emergency services trying to perform CPR on them in the front garden before they were taken away in an ambulance.

Most of the attending police vans and fire engines had left by about 6am.

Another neighour, Stuart Whittle, had just returned from a holiday in Lanzarote in the early hours when he saw the chaos in the street.

This Is Lancashire: The scene of the fatal fire in Albert Road West, Heaton

He said: "It's a terrible tragedy that's occurred. We feel really sad  and really concerned for the relatives that have to be informed.

"They were good neighbours. I've never experienced anything like this, and I've lived here since the 1970s.

"The police came and were asking questions."

Ch Supt David Hull, Bolton's chief police officer, said: “Three people have tragically lost their lives and our thoughts are with their loved ones at this time.

“We have launched a joint investigation with the fire service and experts from both agencies will be working together to find out what happened and why.

“I know people, especially in the local community, will be shocked and anxious to find out what has gone on and as soon as we are able to provide further updates we will do so.

“I do not want to second guess or prejudice the outcome of these investigations but in the interests of absolute transparency want to make it clear that we are treating these deaths as suspicious and are not looking for anyone in connection with the fire at this time.

“There will be extra officers in the area and I would ask local residents to come and speak to us if they have any information or concerns.”

This Is Lancashire: The scene of the fatal fire in Albert Road West, Heaton

The Mayor of Bolton, Cllr Colin Shaw, lives a few doors down from the house, but said he did not know the family involved.

“The police rang our bell at about 3.15am, got us out of bed and asked us if we’d seen anything suspicious.

“I’ve never seen so many police vans in all my life - there must have been at least a dozen, but somehow we were not woken up until they rang our bell.

“We’ve had people ringing us and asking whether we were okay, because they had heard the road mentioned.

“It is very unfortunate and of course if there are family members left, we pass on our sincere condolences to them.”

This Is Lancashire: The scene of the fatal fire in Albert Road West, Heaton

 


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The house, a three-bedroom semi-detached property, was on sale for £325,000, according to the estate agents.

It had been up for sale for several weeks before the blaze, but has since been removed from agent’s lists.

Anyone with information can call police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.

Comments (23)

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9:30am Mon 9 Dec 13

oftbewildered2 says...

a tragedy which I do not wish to comment upon until more facts are known. Condolences to family and friends of those who died.
a tragedy which I do not wish to comment upon until more facts are known. Condolences to family and friends of those who died. oftbewildered2

9:48am Mon 9 Dec 13

Donkey Stone says...

oftbewildered2 wrote:
a tragedy which I do not wish to comment upon until more facts are known. Condolences to family and friends of those who died.
Well said.
[quote][p][bold]oftbewildered2[/bold] wrote: a tragedy which I do not wish to comment upon until more facts are known. Condolences to family and friends of those who died.[/p][/quote]Well said. Donkey Stone

10:01am Mon 9 Dec 13

The Wasp says...

So very very sad.
So very very sad. The Wasp

10:24am Mon 9 Dec 13

Crazy 38 says...

So near Christmas as well...how terribly sad..x
So near Christmas as well...how terribly sad..x Crazy 38

1:36pm Mon 9 Dec 13

W1NGM4N says...

RIP! Hope they get the blessings they deserve, thoughts go out to their friends n families!
RIP! Hope they get the blessings they deserve, thoughts go out to their friends n families! W1NGM4N

2:40pm Mon 9 Dec 13

wsw69 says...

Very sad news to hear regardless of which time of year it occurs. Condolences to their family and friends.
Very sad news to hear regardless of which time of year it occurs. Condolences to their family and friends. wsw69

2:46pm Mon 9 Dec 13

zoomzam says...

Tragic story. RIP and condolences to the family. What the price of the property has to do with all this is a mystery. Poor reporting!
Tragic story. RIP and condolences to the family. What the price of the property has to do with all this is a mystery. Poor reporting! zoomzam

2:47pm Mon 9 Dec 13

zoomzam says...

Tragic story. RIP and condolences to the family. What the price of the property has to do with all this is beyond my comprehension. Poor reporting!
Tragic story. RIP and condolences to the family. What the price of the property has to do with all this is beyond my comprehension. Poor reporting! zoomzam

3:11pm Mon 9 Dec 13

Chrome1 says...

A tragedy of the highest magnitude. I agree with a previous comment on the inclusion of the price of the house. It is poor and insensitive journalism. I think also, as this has become a national story, Bolton News should use a more expereinced reporter, not someone who specialises in educaton.
A tragedy of the highest magnitude. I agree with a previous comment on the inclusion of the price of the house. It is poor and insensitive journalism. I think also, as this has become a national story, Bolton News should use a more expereinced reporter, not someone who specialises in educaton. Chrome1

3:14pm Mon 9 Dec 13

wsw69 says...

Chrome1 wrote:
A tragedy of the highest magnitude. I agree with a previous comment on the inclusion of the price of the house. It is poor and insensitive journalism. I think also, as this has become a national story, Bolton News should use a more expereinced reporter, not someone who specialises in educaton.
Regards the house price - I was taken aback by that too. In the circumstances and respect for the bereaved, I shall leave it at that.
[quote][p][bold]Chrome1[/bold] wrote: A tragedy of the highest magnitude. I agree with a previous comment on the inclusion of the price of the house. It is poor and insensitive journalism. I think also, as this has become a national story, Bolton News should use a more expereinced reporter, not someone who specialises in educaton.[/p][/quote]Regards the house price - I was taken aback by that too. In the circumstances and respect for the bereaved, I shall leave it at that. wsw69

4:15pm Mon 9 Dec 13

I, Ludicrous says...

zoomzam wrote:
Tragic story. RIP and condolences to the family. What the price of the property has to do with all this is beyond my comprehension. Poor reporting!
Exactly, and to then give the estate agent's description of the property too. Why? It's just crass, vulgar and completely needless.
RIP to those that have lost their lives so awfully, and peace to their loved ones and friends.
[quote][p][bold]zoomzam[/bold] wrote: Tragic story. RIP and condolences to the family. What the price of the property has to do with all this is beyond my comprehension. Poor reporting![/p][/quote]Exactly, and to then give the estate agent's description of the property too. Why? It's just crass, vulgar and completely needless. RIP to those that have lost their lives so awfully, and peace to their loved ones and friends. I, Ludicrous

4:21pm Mon 9 Dec 13

Reebok Rhythm says...

I can't even begin to understand how excruciatingly painful it must be to lose loved ones in any circumstances, let alone suspected arson.

My sincere condolences and deepest sympathy goes out to the family and friends of the deceased.

I have become somewhat disillusioned with Christmas and its meaning when terrible events are occuring all over the world. It is completely lost in society.

RIP.
I can't even begin to understand how excruciatingly painful it must be to lose loved ones in any circumstances, let alone suspected arson. My sincere condolences and deepest sympathy goes out to the family and friends of the deceased. I have become somewhat disillusioned with Christmas and its meaning when terrible events are occuring all over the world. It is completely lost in society. RIP. Reebok Rhythm

7:49pm Mon 9 Dec 13

Mick England says...

No smoke without fire I hate to say but this wasn't random, it was personal! Only time will tell I guess!
No smoke without fire I hate to say but this wasn't random, it was personal! Only time will tell I guess! Mick England

7:54pm Mon 9 Dec 13

wsw69 says...

Mick England wrote:
No smoke without fire I hate to say but this wasn't random, it was personal! Only time will tell I guess!
From a respect point of view, let alone a legal standing, your comment is ill posted.
[quote][p][bold]Mick England[/bold] wrote: No smoke without fire I hate to say but this wasn't random, it was personal! Only time will tell I guess![/p][/quote]From a respect point of view, let alone a legal standing, your comment is ill posted. wsw69

8:46pm Mon 9 Dec 13

Mick England says...

I have full respect, but does anyone on here think that this was a random attack? There is no disrespect intended in my comment, but there is no smoke without fire! As to the legality of my comment, I don't do legal I do lawful and if you research common law, what I said isn't and will never be unlawful! Like I said only time will tell if any dodgy underhanded deals were responsible for the death of these three!
I have full respect, but does anyone on here think that this was a random attack? There is no disrespect intended in my comment, but there is no smoke without fire! As to the legality of my comment, I don't do legal I do lawful and if you research common law, what I said isn't and will never be unlawful! Like I said only time will tell if any dodgy underhanded deals were responsible for the death of these three! Mick England

10:02pm Mon 9 Dec 13

Wolfie190 says...

There are updates on the Manchester news site.
There are updates on the Manchester news site. Wolfie190

10:17pm Mon 9 Dec 13

lv8151 says...

Mick England wrote:
No smoke without fire I hate to say but this wasn't random, it was personal! Only time will tell I guess!
seems you was right mr england ..... you should call yourself Mick Poirot England
[quote][p][bold]Mick England[/bold] wrote: No smoke without fire I hate to say but this wasn't random, it was personal! Only time will tell I guess![/p][/quote]seems you was right mr england ..... you should call yourself Mick Poirot England lv8151

10:29pm Mon 9 Dec 13

Comment777 says...

Chrome1 wrote:
A tragedy of the highest magnitude. I agree with a previous comment on the inclusion of the price of the house. It is poor and insensitive journalism. I think also, as this has become a national story, Bolton News should use a more expereinced reporter, not someone who specialises in educaton.
Miller Metcalfe will not care, just another hot property they have lost.

The investigation will find that what is prima facie a seemingly accidental/tragic event is one which has been caused by a specific deliberate action. Bearing in mind the police believe the fire is suspicious and they are looking for NO ONE ELSE!!!

The people i feel for are the neighbours who may have been injured or even killed if the fire had spread...
[quote][p][bold]Chrome1[/bold] wrote: A tragedy of the highest magnitude. I agree with a previous comment on the inclusion of the price of the house. It is poor and insensitive journalism. I think also, as this has become a national story, Bolton News should use a more expereinced reporter, not someone who specialises in educaton.[/p][/quote]Miller Metcalfe will not care, just another hot property they have lost. The investigation will find that what is prima facie a seemingly accidental/tragic event is one which has been caused by a specific deliberate action. Bearing in mind the police believe the fire is suspicious and they are looking for NO ONE ELSE!!! The people i feel for are the neighbours who may have been injured or even killed if the fire had spread... Comment777

10:33pm Mon 9 Dec 13

Comment777 says...

Reebok Rhythm wrote:
I can't even begin to understand how excruciatingly painful it must be to lose loved ones in any circumstances, let alone suspected arson.

My sincere condolences and deepest sympathy goes out to the family and friends of the deceased.

I have become somewhat disillusioned with Christmas and its meaning when terrible events are occuring all over the world. It is completely lost in society.

RIP.
Suspected arson...??? The police have stated that no one else is being sought so which member of the family is suspected...

As for Christmas being lost in the dreadful happenings around the world just do a quick analysis of the causes...
[quote][p][bold]Reebok Rhythm[/bold] wrote: I can't even begin to understand how excruciatingly painful it must be to lose loved ones in any circumstances, let alone suspected arson. My sincere condolences and deepest sympathy goes out to the family and friends of the deceased. I have become somewhat disillusioned with Christmas and its meaning when terrible events are occuring all over the world. It is completely lost in society. RIP.[/p][/quote]Suspected arson...??? The police have stated that no one else is being sought so which member of the family is suspected... As for Christmas being lost in the dreadful happenings around the world just do a quick analysis of the causes... Comment777

10:37pm Mon 9 Dec 13

Comment777 says...

Mick England wrote:
No smoke without fire I hate to say but this wasn't random, it was personal! Only time will tell I guess!
Absolutely and when the truth is outed maybe those who have added there ill thought out negatives to your comment maybe each of them will apologise for there action...but I doubt it as rose tinted spectacles and their lack of cynicism seem to act as blinkers...
[quote][p][bold]Mick England[/bold] wrote: No smoke without fire I hate to say but this wasn't random, it was personal! Only time will tell I guess![/p][/quote]Absolutely and when the truth is outed maybe those who have added there ill thought out negatives to your comment maybe each of them will apologise for there action...but I doubt it as rose tinted spectacles and their lack of cynicism seem to act as blinkers... Comment777

11:58pm Mon 9 Dec 13

danssoncabaret says...

My heart goes out to the family and friends of these people who tragically lost their lives.
My heart goes out to the family and friends of these people who tragically lost their lives. danssoncabaret

7:47am Tue 10 Dec 13

Mick England says...

Told you so!!!!
Told you so!!!! Mick England

9:54am Tue 10 Dec 13

Comment777 says...

lv8151 wrote:
Mick England wrote:
No smoke without fire I hate to say but this wasn't random, it was personal! Only time will tell I guess!
seems you was right mr england ..... you should call yourself Mick Poirot England
Mike England apologies coming....
[quote][p][bold]lv8151[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Mick England[/bold] wrote: No smoke without fire I hate to say but this wasn't random, it was personal! Only time will tell I guess![/p][/quote]seems you was right mr england ..... you should call yourself Mick Poirot England[/p][/quote]Mike England apologies coming.... Comment777

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