Shock after death of woman found on fire

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The Independent Online

Neighbours spoke of their shock today after a young woman, thought to be pregnant, died after she was found on fire behind a house.

The 23-year-old woman was found with serious burns at the property in Cloudsdale Avenue, Bradford, at 7.15pm yesterday. She was pronounced dead at the scene.



Detectives are investigating the death and are waiting for the results of a post-mortem.



A spokesman said: "We are trying to establish the circumstances."



Police officers were still present in the quiet cul-de-sac this morning.



A cordon sealed off around eight houses from the main street, including the terraced property where the incident is believed to have taken place.



There was little evidence of what had happened at the front of the house, where one policeman stood guard at the front door.



Three officers were seen going into and out of the house.



Neighbours said the area was usually quiet and peaceful and a close community, but some mystery surrounded the woman who died.



Aziza Kahn, who lives nearby, said she believed the woman was pregnant and lived at the property with her husband, mother-in-law and two sisters-in-law.



She said: "We never saw her (the woman). There was a time we were quite close to that family but not now.



"We didn't know her, we never got to talk to her.



"You never saw her with her husband, never ever saw them together.



"She was a young girl, we thought she was about 17 or 18, and she was pregnant."



Miss Kahn also said some neighbours had told her that a group of around five men were seen coming out of the house around the same time as the incident happened but said she did not see anything herself.



Another neighbour, Rahana Kosar, said she believed the woman was Asian and had been in the UK for less than a year but said she rarely came out of the house.



She also said her family had had an argument with the woman's family in the past about car parking and had kept out of each other's way since then.



"I've heard she's an Asian lady and I don't think her parents are in this country," she said. "We're all Asians round here but she never came out of the house.



"We have the excuse of taking the kids to school and everything and us woman all stand and talk a lot but that woman's not involved.



"There's only a few houses and we know exactly what's going on but we never saw her."



Ms Kosar said she was not aware of what happened until she opened her front door to find the street filled with emergency vehicles.



She said: "We didn't hear anything because we sit in the back room and one of the girls nearby knocked on the door and said something's happened so I opened the door and was just shocked.



"There was police everywhere, there was the fire brigade and I couldn't pinpoint which house it was until someone said it was the second house and the girl there had actually died."



Another neighbour, who did not wish to be named, said it was a local resident who called the emergency services to the woman's aid.



He added: "To be honest, nobody heard any screams or anything. It's very strange, very suspicious."



Nasreen Kahn said she returned home about 7pm last night and did not hear any commotion until she looked out of her window to see a fire engine.



She said: "I wasn't really sure what it was about and the next thing I saw police tape up there. It was just on hearsay that we found out what happened.



"It was a bit horrible. It just seemed really weird and it wasn't right at all.



"It's made me feel weird, kind of like I don't want to be here. It's quite scary."



A West Yorkshire Police spokesman said: "Officers were called by the Fire Service at 7.15pm yesterday to reports of a woman with serious burns.



"The woman was pronounced dead and inquiries are ongoing at the scene.



"The post-mortem is due to take place later."