Lancashire

Man held over death of women in fire-hit Preston home

House on Longfield
Image caption A 21-year-old man was arrested at the scene on suspicion of murder

A man has been arrested on suspicion of murdering his grandmother and aunt at their Lancashire home.

The bodies of Maureen Allen, 79, and her daughter, Geraldine Allen, 57, were found in a bungalow in Fulwood, Preston, at 02:00 BST.

The 21-year-old suspect was arrested at the scene of the killings.

The women's home had been set alight. A post-mortem examination carried out on Geraldine Allen revealed she died from multiple stab wounds.

A post-mortem examination is due to be carried out on Maureen Allen on Tuesday.

A relative of the two women raised the alarm, after becoming concerned about several phone calls they had received.

'Distressed call'

Police and the fire service were confronted by the burning home on Longfield and discovered the two bodies inside.

Stephanie McDougall, the daughter of Mrs Allen's next-door neighbour, said she received a "distressed" phone call from her mother shortly before 02:00 BST.

"It's very upsetting. It's shocking that something like this could happen here."

Neighbours said Mrs Allen could often be seen gardening in her wheelchair and had lived in the street for more than 25 years.

It is understood her daughter and grandson had moved in recently.

Early stages

The road containing eight similar bungalows was cordoned off as crime scene investigators were on the scene.

A neighbour living opposite, who did not wish to be named, said: "We were woken up by the sound of fire engines. There were three outside.

"A while later I saw a man wearing handcuffs being put into a van.

"There was no struggle, he just walked calmly in."

Det Supt Neil Esseen, of Lancashire police, said: "We are still in the early stages of this inquiry and are trying to establish the circumstances surrounding the deaths of the two women.

"I have a team of detectives working on this investigation who are following a number of lines of inquiry."

He added: "The alarm was raised by another relative who was concerned about some phone calls they had received."

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