CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Arson detectives appeal for help tracing teenagers seen running away from fire

Witnesses said boys 'ran off laughing' as building in Kentish Town went up in flames

20 April, 2017 — By William McLennan

The house on fire on March 27

DETECTIVES are ­­ap­pealing for help in tracking down two teenagers seen running away from a fire that tore through a terraced house and forced dozens to flee their homes.

Two boys in their late-teens were seen outside the property in Prince of Wales Road, Kentish Town. One was seen to throw something towards the three-storey home which was engulfed in flames on the evening of March 27. The exact cause of the fire is still unknown, but police believe an “accelerant” was used.

Videos and pictures of the blaze have been shared on social media and police hope that witnesses may have recorded the vital clue needed to find suspects. Detective Constable Dean Puzey, who is leading the investigation, said: “If anyone took images or captured footage of these males then we ask that you contact us as soon as possible.”

Two witnesses told the New Journal they saw two teenagers run from the building just seconds before it “exploded” in flames. One said: “I saw two kids acting strange outside the house and the fire just exploded into the window, and they ran off laughing. It went from a small flame and then all of a sudden it just exploded. It went boom. Flames and debris started coming out and we heard bangs.”

Picture of two teenagers who police want to speak to

At their height flames rose several metres above the building and could be seen from the other side of Parliament Hill. No one was injured.

The blaze was the second suspected arson attack at the same address within months. It had been left without windows after a fire in January. It is understood a man has been charged in relation to the earlier fire.

Both of the suspects linked to the second blaze are described as 5ft 4in tall and of slim build, both wearing dark tops and jogging bottoms.

“One of the males had white stripes down the leg of his trousers or bottoms. He also had red- coloured trainers and was wearing a light blue Nike rucksack,” police said.

They were seen running towards Haverstock Hill. DC Puzey said: “Due to the prompt response of police and London Fire Brigade, surrounding houses were evacuated. Luckily, no one was injured and the fire was brought under control quickly. “We are keen to hear from anyone with information on this incident and in particular those who witnessed the two males near the address around the time the fire started.”

He urged anyone who can help to call CID on 020 8345 0195.

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