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Seven-year-old boy killed in Deptford arson attack


A SEVEN-year-old boy who died in a suspected arson attack has been identified as Joel Urhie.

Fire firefighters were called to the family home shortly before 3.30 am on Adolphus Street, Deptford, South-east London.

Inside the home, Joel was alongside his mother Mrs Urhie and his 19-year-old sister Sarah, who jumped from a first floor-floor-window and escaped before fire crew had arrived on the scene.

Neighbours reportedly heard screaming, believed to be from Joel’s mum, shouting: “My son is in there” as the blaze ravaged through the house.

Joel’s father, Mr Urhie, who moved out about five years ago, had been alerted at 04.00 am to say there had been a fire.

The 54-year-old described his son as a “sweet and intelligent” young boy. He said: “When I came, the first thing I saw was my daughter inside the ambulance. They said, 'Joel's dead', and there's nothing I can do about it.”

PICTURED: Joel's father

A family friend Grace Gbenedio, said she rushed out of her nearby home after hearing the screams. She said that she cradled Joel's mother, Sophie Urhie, who shouted: "My son is inside, my son is inside."

"She was on the floor crying, 'help, help, help'." Mrs Gbenedio added. "The fire was just too much, like a curtain, no-one could go in or out. We heard the last blast of the glass and she just collapsed."

Police officers were called to the fatal house fire along with around 35 firefighters and paramedic teams. Officers from Lewisham supported by the Homicide and Major Crime Command are investigating.

Mrs Urhie and her daughter are currently being treated in hospital for non-life threatening injuries.

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