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Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Bexleyheath house fire victim made desperate phone call to husband as flames took hold

A cousin, who gave his name as Jega, said the children’s mother and her mother had been due to fly back to Sri Lanka on Friday. They were upstairs when the fire started.

The cousin said: “I think he [Yogan] said that [there was] a call from his wife and she was just shouting, ‘fire, fire’ and the call went dead. It went silent.”

The children’s uncle was also in the property and jumped out of a window to escape the flames, suffering an injury.

A former colleague of Yogan’s, Mayil Mathivathanan, said he had visited him on Friday afternoon. “He kept crying and saying the names of his children. The pain is unimaginable. He is such a nice guy,” he said.

Witnesses said the semi-detached house was engulfed in flames within minutes. Divesh Saraf, 25, lives several doors away and said he had walked past the house at around 8.17pm, when it appeared quiet. By 8.30pm, smoke was billowing from the building.

“We were so panicked, so we came rushing out of our house,” he told The Telegraph. “There was a huge wall of smoke. We then watched as the emergency services brought all the people out. They were performing CPR on them for more than an hour – they were doing their best.”

Six fire engines and around 40 firefighters were called to the blaze. Crews in breathing apparatus rescued two women and two children from the first floor using a ladder but all four died at the scene, the LFB said.

An investigation is taking place into the cause, but the Metropolitan Police said on Friday that it was not thought to be suspicious.

In a statement, Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, said: “I am heartbroken to hear that two women and two children have tragically lost their lives in a house fire. My heart goes out to all their loved ones and the local community at this awful time.”

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