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Woman arrested after four children die in London house fire

A 27-year-old woman has been arrested on suspicion of child neglect after two pairs of twin boys died in a house fire in south London, the Met police said.

The London fire brigade (LFB) said eight fire engines and about 60 firefighters were sent to Collingwood Road, Sutton, shortly before 7pm on Thursday in response to reports of a fire. Fire crews faced an “intense blaze” throughout the ground floor of the property, it said.

The four boys were taken out of the house and given CPR by firefighters at the scene before being taken to hospital, where they died.

The blaze was under control by 8.36pm and the cause is under investigation.

The London fire brigade deputy commissioner, Richard Mills, said: “I’d like to acknowledge the terrible tragedy that took place last night and our thoughts remain with the family, friends and community of the sad loss of life of four young children.

“Yesterday evening, shortly before 7pm, fire crews attended the scene with eight fire engines and 60 firefighters. We rapidly entered the building with breathing apparatus crews and rescued four children from the building. We immediately carried out CPR resuscitation.

“The children were taken to a local hospital. And, sadly, those four children died later that evening.

“The cause of the fire is currently unknown and we have fire investigation teams on scene at present along with the Metropolitan police to determine the cause of the fire.”

The London fire commissioner, Andy Roe, said: “This is an incident that has left everyone numb with profound sadness. My thoughts are with the family and friends of the children, the whole local community and all those who will be affected by this fire.

“Fire crews arrived quickly and located the children inside the property. They were brought out of the house and given immediate emergency care. The welfare of our staff involved in this incident is very important to us and all of them will be offered counselling as a priority.”

The Met police said next of kin were aware of the deaths and would be provided with specialist support.

Roads were closed and emergency services remained at the scene.

Supt Rob Shepherd of the Met police said: “The thoughts of everyone at the South Area command unit are with the family and friends of these four young children, who have suffered such a devastating and tragic loss tonight. I know these sentiments will be shared by the local community, Sutton and London as a whole.

“We remain on scene with our emergency service colleagues and will be working through the night and beyond. At this very early stage the cause of the fire is unknown and will be investigated.”

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