Police identify 74-year-old woman killed in Heaton house blaze
Dolleh Joseph has been named as the 74-year-old woman killed alongside two other people in the Albert Road West fire in the early hours of Monday morning.
Police are yet to identify the other two victims of the blaze but they have been named locally as Iranian couple Hassan and Mahnaz Rafie.
Ms Joseph is thought to have been Mrs Rafie's mother.
Early indications from a post mortem examination suggest the elderly woman died from smoke inhalation and burns.
Police are now waiting for toxicology results to establish a final cause of death.
It is understood that police are finding it hard to formally identify the other two victims given the severity of their burns, and may ultimately be forced to rely on dental records.
Det Ch Insp Phil Reade said: "This is an absolute tragedy and we are determined to find out what happened and why.
"We are keeping an open mind about what could have gone on here and it is important to stress that at this time we do not know with absolute certainty, who the two other people are who tragically lost their lives.
"We are investigating how the fire started, whether it was deliberate and if so, who started it.
"Forensic experts and other specialists from the police and fire service will be continuing their investigations at the scene and until this and other enquiries are conducted we simply cannot say anything more about the circumstances surrounding this incident.
"Officers will be on hand to talk to any residents who may be concerned by what has happened and I would like to urge them or anyone else who might have information that could assist to come and speak to us or call us in absolute confidence."
Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111
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