Tributes paid to 14-year-old girl who died in fire

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Tributes have been paid to a 14-year-old girl who died in an east London fire with a 16-year-old boy arrested on suspicion of murder.

Teenagers were seen hugging and crying as they placed flowers on the pavement outside a block of flats in Beckton, Newham, today.

The girl, named locally as Tiffany, died at the scene and five others at the address were injured. They have since been discharged from hospital.

A card next to the flowers said “Tiffany we love you”. A message inside added: “So sorry for your loss. We are praying and thinking of you at this difficult time. We are always here for you no matter what.”

People hug at the scene in Beckton
People hug at the scene in Beckton (James Manning/PA)

Police were called at about 5.28pm on Thursday to the fire in Tollgate Road, which detectives are treating as arson.

Paying tribute, a man who said he was a family friend described the teenager as “an angel”.

The man who gave his name only as Godfrey, 30, said: “I’ve even got videos of her from when she young.

“She spent some time with my little nephews. Those memories with her I will never forget.”

Witnesses said they watched people jump from windows onto a mattress to escape the fire.

Flowers at the scene of the fire
Flowers at the scene of the fire (James Manning/PA)

“One girl just jumped onto the floor, you could see yesterday she was bruised.”

Rahina Begum, who lives opposite the flats, described how the fire “went up very quickly, within a few seconds”.

She said: “In 10 to 15 seconds the whole building was on fire, from the bottom to the top.”

Kenesha Lawrence, 43, who lived in the block of flats with her 14-year-old son, is having to stay in a hostel after her home was destroyed.

“My whole life was in there. I have been living there for nine years I have no idea what is going on in there.

“Just above me I know there is a family with a young baby boy. I don’t know their names. Above that it was a mother and a daughter.”

Chief Superintendent Simon Crick, who leads the Met’s north east command unit, said: “My thoughts at this time are with the victim and their family and friends.

“Incidents such as these send shockwaves through our communities and I don’t underestimate the impact this will have in the local area and beyond.

“Your officers will be on patrol in the immediate vicinity over the Easter weekend, please talk to them if you have any concerns.”

London Fire Brigade’s Borough Commander for Newham, Richard Arnold, said: “We would like to offer our condolences to the family and friends of the teenage girl who died at the scene of the fire yesterday evening.”

He added: “This was a very tragic incident and our crews who attended the scene are receiving support from our counselling and trauma service.”

Anyone with information should call police on 101 or tweet @MetCC quoting 5315/6APR.

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