Kent

Chatham fire: Third man arrested on suspicion of murder

Chatham Hill fire
Image caption Neighbouring houses had to be evacuated at the height of the fire, which started at 02:30 BST

A third man has been arrested on suspicion of murder after the deaths of a 20-year-old mother and her 15-month-old son in a fire in Chatham, Kent.

Melissa Crook and her son Noah are believed to have died in the blaze in Chatham Hill on Saturday. Kent Police have not yet released their names.

Police said a 35-year-old man from the Maidstone area was arrested on Sunday .

Two men, aged 23 and 37, arrested in Coventry on Saturday, are also being held on suspicion of murder.

One of the men, named locally as Danai Muhammadi, 23, is believed to be Ms Crook's estranged husband.

Flowers, cards and soft toys have been left near the scene of the fire which has been cordoned off by police.

'Very bubbly girl'

Kelly Whiting, a childhood friend of Ms Crook's, said she was a "lovely girl and brilliant mum".

Ms Whiting said: "I knew Mel when I was younger. We used to go out together and things like that.

Image caption Friends have left floral tributes and cards near the scene of the fire

"She was lovely, a lovely girl and a brilliant mum to Noah. She absolutely loved Noah. She always used to write how much she loved him and she'd do anything for him."

Three other people - thought to be Ms Crook's parents Mark and Amanda and her brother Bohdan - were also hurt.

A 49-year-old man is being treated for life-threatening burns.

A 39-year-old woman is being treated for burns and the effects of inhaling smoke, while a 21-year-old man is being treated for broken ankles after escaping the fire. Both are said to be stable in hospital.

Neighbouring terraced houses had to be evacuated at the height of the fire which started at 02:30 BST on Saturday.

Kent Police said the fire was being treated as suspicious and have appealed for any witnesses to contact them.

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