"Within minutes the entire house was on fire.”
Five family members, including three children, were killed in a house fire.
Three children, their mother Seema Ratra and another adult houseguest from the same family were among the deaths.
During the harrowing scenes, a man believed to be Aroen Kishen, the father of the children, screamed:
“My children, my children.”
He and his wife Seema were believed to have been inside the house when the fire broke out on November 12, 2023.
Ten fire engines and 70 firefighters were sent to the property in Hounslow, West London, at 10:26 pm.
Aroen was later taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Another adult family member remains unaccounted for.
Reportedly, the family recently moved to Hounslow from Belgium.
It is feared that the blaze was started by a firework during Diwali celebrations.
Neighbours said the fireworks were the loudest in decades when they began at sunset on the cul-de-sac.
Others said they could see the flames flickering on the trees with the area covered in smoke “like a mist”.
One neighbour said: “At around 10:15 pm, I heard a lady screaming. We tried to shout from our windows to tell her to quickly get out.
“We came out and there was a man banging on the door screaming, ‘My children, my children’.
“At around 10:20 pm we heard the children screaming. We tried to get a hose to help them put out the fire. It was a massive fire. It started on the porch first. Within minutes the entire house was on fire.”
At the scene, Chief Superintendent Sean Wilson said:
“Despite the lifesaving efforts of all those attending, I’m very sorry to inform you all five people have lost their lives in this fire.
“Sadly, we believe that three of those that died are children.
“There is at least one other person, an adult, who remains unaccounted for.”
“This is truly a terrible incident, the loss of so many lives will cause unimaginable distress to families, friends and communities of all those involved.
“I know that people across the country are shocked and saddened by this terrible event last night. Everyone will want to know why this tragedy occurred.
“We will be working tirelessly with our colleagues at the London Fire Brigade to find those answers. At this time we have an open mind as to the cause of the fire.
“I would ask people not to add to that uncertainty by speculating.”