Blaze that killed pensioners 'was arson'

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The Independent Online

A fire which claimed the lives of two pensioners is being treated as an arson attack, detectives said today.

Warwickshire Police said officers investigating the fatal blaze, which broke out in the early hours of Saturday, were now investigating a second suspicious fire at the same location which started at about 1.30am today.

No-one was injured in the latest incident in Rugby, Warwickshire, although residents were evacuated from two flats.

A police spokesman said: "Detectives are investigating a second suspicious fire at Harold Cox Place, Rugby, where two elderly people died at the weekend.

"Police are now treating both incidents as arson and believe that they may be connected."

A man and a woman, both aged 77, died following the original fire, which began at about 2.50am on Saturday close to a mobility scooter parked next to the flats.

Confirming details of the latest incident, the spokesman said the fire service was called to the flats at 01.28am to tackle a blaze which had also started near a mobility scooter.

The police spokesman added: "Officers investigating the incidents are appealing for information from members of the public.

"They want to hear from anyone who saw any suspicious activity in the vicinity of Harold Cox Place in the early hours of this morning or Saturday morning, or who has any information which would help them with their inquiries."

Firefighters rescued a 74-year-old woman from a neighbouring property after the first fire.

Warwickshire Police, who are examining CCTV footage and carrying out house-to-house inquiries, had previously been treating the original fire as "unexplained".

Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Inspector Howard Orsmby on 01926 415000 or the Crimestoppers hotline on 0800 555111.