UK & World News
Bolton House Fire Deaths 'Are Suspicious'
Police and the fire service are investigating after three people died in a house fire.
Two bodies were recovered from the semi-detached property in the Heaton area of Bolton, Greater Manchester, while a woman was taken to hospital but died a short time later from burns.
Chief superintendent Dave Hull, from Greater Manchester Police, said the fire was being treated as suspicious.
He said: "The focus of the investigation is to establish the cause of the blaze.
"People are helping us with our inquiries in giving witness accounts. We're not looking for anyone (in connection with the fire) currently."
He said the fire was being treated as suspicious because it is not clear what started the blaze.
Peter O'Reilly, from Greater Manchester Fire Service, said the fire was focused around the kitchen area.
Next-door neighbour Maria Taylor, 48, said she was woken by the sound of fire engines and then heard smashing glass as firefighters broke in to gain access to the property.
She said: "There were some flames initially and then a lot of smoke coming from the kitchen area. It was going up the stairwell, up to the landing.
"An ambulance then arrived and a body was brought out. They were doing CPR on the person in the garden at the front."
She said she knew the couple who lived there as Mona and Hassan and thought they had two children who were away at university.
"They were a lovely, lovely family," she said.
"They have lived here for about 10 years. I don't know them well but we would always say hello to each other and exchange pleasantries.
"I think they were Iranian. They have been trying to sell their house for quite a while - I think they wanted to downsize after the children left home."
Another neighbour said he believed an elderly relative had been staying with the couple.
Bolton Mayor Colin Shaw, who lives in Albert Road West, said: "I am absolutely shocked. We only live down a few doors down the road.
"At about 3.15am the police came and told me what had happened. I understood there was one fatality at the time, so I'm shocked it's now three."
Greater Manchester Police (GMP) and Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service are trying to establish the cause of the blaze which began early this morning.
A spokesman for GMP said: "Just before 2.20am, police were called by the fire service following a blaze at a house on Albert Road West, Heaton, Bolton.
"A woman was taken to hospital but died a short time later of burns.
"Following a search of the house, a further two bodies were discovered. The flames have since been extinguished."