Police are treating a house fire in which a woman died as a suspected arson attack.
Sixty firefighters tackled the blaze in Woolwich, south east London, in the early hours of this morning (THURS) following more than 20 calls.
Two people escaped from the property before 999 crews arrived. They are being treated in hospital.
But a woman, believed to be in her 40s, was found dead inside the gutted townhouse by firefighters wearing breathing apparatus.
Police now believe the fire was started deliberately, and are appealing for witnesses.
A Scotland Yard spokesman said: “Detectives are appealing for information and witnesses after a woman died following following a suspected arson attack on a townhouse in Greenwich.
“Police were called at 1.23am to Centurion Square,, Berber Parade, following reports of a fire at a residential address.
“Officers attended with London Fire Brigade and London Ambulance Service.
“The fire has now been extinguished.
“A woman believed to be aged in her late 40s was found deceased inside the address. Her next-of kin are aware.
“Two other people from the property, a man in his sixties and a woman in her fifties, have been taken to hospital for treatment of injuries. Their condition is not serious.”
He added: “At this stage, the fire is being treated as suspicious.
“Enquiries in the full circumstances continue. Local CCTV footage will be reviewed and detailed forensic tests carried out.
“A crime scene remains in place and the Homicide and Major Crime Command have been made aware of this incident.
“Detectives are keen to hear from anyone in the area – including local residents – who heard or saw anything suspicious before or after the fire started.”
A London fire Brigade spokeswoman said: “Eight fire engines and around 60 firefighters were called to a fire at a house in Centurion Square in Woolwich.
“The ground floor, first and second floors of the property were damaged by fire.
“Two people left the property before the arrival of the Brigade and were taken to hospital by London Ambulance Service.
“Sadly one woman was found dead at the scene by crews wearing breathing apparatus.”
He added: “The Brigade’s 999 control officers took 23 calls to the fire.
“The Brigade was called at 1.22am and the fire was under control at 3.12am.
“Fire crews from East Greenwich, Eltham, Plumstead, Greenwich and other surrounding fire stations attended the scene.”