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Ilford fatal tent fire: victim had “almost 100% burns”

The victims were sleeping in this temporary campsite.

A homeless man who died in a fire near the A406 in Ilford suffered “almost 100% burns”, investigators have revealed.

The victim, who was in his 40s, passed away hours after being rushed to hospital in the early hours of Wednesday, 19 June.

Emergency services were called to a temporary campsite, which was home to a number of people, at around 11.45pm on Tuesday night.

A second injured man, who also lived under the tarpaulin structure, had managed to make his way to the side of the road.

He is in an induced coma with critical injuries at Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford.

Detective Chief Inspector Paul Considine said: “We are releasing additional details today, including the locations of the hospitals, as we really need to hear from anyone who knows or think they may know either or both of these men to help us with our investigation. I am particularly appealing to the eastern European community to come forward, as we think both men may be of Romanian origin.

“We believe that the deceased man may have been called Majea or Manea, but we do not know if this is a first name, surname or even a correct name, while the second man in hospital in Essex might be called Pedro, or Petra, but again we can’t be sure this is right.

“We’ve also been told that both men may well have worked as casual labourers in the east London area of Ilford or Redbridge or Barking and Dagenham, as the area where this fire took place is close to the borough border. Perhaps you employed them, or worked with them?

The A406 was closed in the early hours of Wednesday morning while investigations were carried out.

“If you know anything at all, however insignificant you think it might be, we really need to hear from you as it might be the piece of information that we need to piece together the bits of information we currently have in order to create a fuller picture of what happened.

“We also want to hear from anyone who knows anything at all about how this fire was caused. We know that after it started, two men came out onto the A406 in an attempt to seek assistance from passing drivers.

“Did you see these two men on the verge when you were driving past, or do you have relevant dashcam footage? If so, please contact us – this was a horrific incident which has caused one man to lose his life, and may claim the life of another.”

A post-mortem for the victim is due to take place tomorrow, Saturday, 22 June.

The fire is currently being treated as suspicious, and anyone with information is asked to call 101 or the incident line number 020 8345 3865 quoting either Operation Rochefort or 9090/18JUN.

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