Stretford , Urmston , Trafford Photographer

Murder probe after blaze deaths

A murder investigation was under way after a 21-year-old man and his eight-year-old sister died following a fire.

Their parents are being treated in hospital for “serious burns” after the blaze and are in a critical condition.

Emergency services were called to the fire at a property in Scott Court in Helensburgh, Argyll and Bute, at around 5.10am on Sunday. They found the 21-year-old man dead at the scene.

The other occupants of the house, a 55-year-old man, his 46-year-old wife and their eight-year-old daughter were taken by ambulance to the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley, Renfrewshire. The young girl died a short time later while her father was later transferred to Glasgow Royal Infirmary. The parents were named locally as Tommy and Angela Sharkey.

Streets around Scott Court were cordoned off with police tape yesterday and officers were letting only residents through to their homes.

A police incident support unit and fire truck were parked near the scene and an officer in a white suit was at work.

Area commander Chief Inspector Fergus Byrne, said: “Extensive inquiries have been ongoing all day at the scene, including a full crime scene forensic investigation by forensic scientists, fire service and Strathclyde Police.

“This investigation is continuing, however, we believe that this fire was started intentionally and the deaths are now being treated as murder.”

Police said post-mortem examinations would be carried out to establish the exact cause of death.

The officer in charge of the investigation, Detective Chief Inspector Anne McKerchar, said: “This is a tragic event made worse by the fact that it was a deliberate act.”