A woman, two teenage girls and three children have died following a house fire in Neasden, north west London, the London Fire Brigade said today.
The adult was a 41-year-old woman, the two teenage girls were 14 and 13. The children were a nine-year-old girl and two boys aged five and two.
A spokesman for the force also confirmed that two people had been injured in the fire.
He said: “Two people have been taken to west London hospitals – a man, aged 51, and a girl aged 16 years.
“The girl is understood to be in a critical condition and the man’s condition is described as stable. All those killed and injured are believed to be members of the same family.”
Emergency workers were called to the semi-detached property in Sonia Gardens during the early hours of this morning after a blaze took hold of the ground and first floors.
A neighbour who wished to remain anonymous said: "I was in my room and the window was open.
“I heard a loud bang, it was literally like an explosion, almost like a bomb.
“I thought it was really strange and within four minutes I heard sirens and police cars and we looked out the window and the fire had literally reached the top within five minutes.
“We all went outside and we saw firemen looking out the window and shouting ’there’s people in there’.”
The fire is being treated as unexplained, and the Metropolitan Police and LFB have begun an investigation, a police spokesman said.
Around 30 firefighters from Willesden, West Hampstead, North Kensington and Park Royal fire stations were called to the serious blaze at around 1am, fire officials said.
They were joined by officers from the Met and medics from London Ambulance Service.
The fire brigade said the blaze was under control by 2.50am.
A LFB spokesman said: “It is understood that there were six fatalities – it is thought that this may be three children, two teenagers and one adult, but we await confirmation.
“Two further people escaped from the house before firefighters arrived at the scene, both were injured and were taken to hospital by ambulance.”
An LAS spokeswoman said that the two injured victims, a 55-year-old man and 16-year-old girl, were taken to Saint Mary’s Hospital in Paddington.
Glen Gorman, of London Fire Brigade, speaking at the scene to BBC News, said: "Crews worked extremely hard in some very, very, difficult conditions and were able to prevent fire spreading to adjoining properties and causing further injuries or even further tragedy.
“There is a forensic examination being carried out at the moment, our specialist fire investigation unit, in conjunction with the Metropolitan Police fire investigators, will carry out a full investigation which could take a number of days to reach its conclusion.”
He added: “Our sincere condolences go out to the family and the friends of the people who have been involved in such a tragic incident.”