CCTV key to fire death
Tuesday, 14 January 2014
POLICE have not yet ruled out murder after a woman was found dead following a house fire in George's Lane in Newry.
A Post Mortem was carried out on the 38-year-old victim yesterday but police are still trying to establish how the blaze started and are studying CCTV footage retrieved from the area.
Detectives were still gathering evidence from the end terrace house last night where the victim, who has not yet been named but is from the Birmingham area of England, was found dead by fire fighters responding to the fire at around 11.05pm on Saturday night.
A number of items have been sent for forensic examination.
Police are treating the fire as suspicious but have not yet opened a murder inquiry.
Officers are keen to speak to two men seen in the Mill Street area around the time the alarm was raised.
The pair were observed walking along Mill Street before stopping at the junction at George's Lane at around 11pm and ringing the emergency services.
Contrary to local reports, the Democrat understands that the woman was not the victim of a violent assault prior to the house fire.
Forensic officers spent over 48 hours at the scene and CCTV footage may provide key evidence.
A sign erected on the side of the residential property where the body was discovered is one of a number of signs in the area warning potential thieves that 24-hour CCTV is in operation.
The Democrat has learned that police are already in receipt of CCTV footage and are hopeful that it will be key to determining if the fire started accidentally or deliberately.
Speaking after visiting the scene on Sunday, SDLP MLA for Newry and Armagh, Dominic Bradley said: "My first thoughts are with the family and relations of the deceased.
“This is terrible news for a family to receive, made worse by the tragic circumstances.
“On behalf of the community here I extend sympathy to the family following this very sad incident."
Sinn Féin councillor Charlie Casey added: "This is very grim news coming from a quiet part of Newry and my thoughts are with the family of the deceased woman.
"I urge anyone with information relating to this incident to contact the PSNI and again I offer my condolences to the family."
Police have appealed to anyone with information to contact them on 0845 600 8000.
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