ributes have been paid to a “generous schoolgirl with a heart of gold” who perished in a flat fire in east London.
A 14-year-old girl, named locally Kingsford Community School student Tiffany, is believed to be the victim of a fatal fire at a block of flats in Tolgate Road, Beckton.
Tiffany is believed to have joined friends to celebrate Easter holidays before the fire ignited at around 5.25pm on Thursday.
Residents reportedly jumped from upper-floor windows in a bid to escape the flames.
The fire is being treated as arson and a 16-year-old boy has since been arrested on suspicion of murder.
Five others were also injured in the blaze but they have since been discharged from hospital.
A family friend, who saw the blaze take hold, told the Standard: “Tiffany was loving and caring and was very close to my daughter and wife.
“Tiffany was living with her gran near the Asda as her gran was elderly.
“That flat was Tiffany’s friends I think the school friends got together and met up in the flat to just have a chat and enjoy their holidays.”
They added: “We have lived in Beckton since 1988 and have seen kids and families grow up over the years.
“My daughter is in the same class as Tiffany in Kingsford Community School.
“We always saw Tiffany she was so generous and humble and has a heart of gold.
“My daughter is very distressed since yesterday as she is trying to come to terms with this tragedy.”
He said: “People tried their best to help. They were bringing mattresses so kids could jump to safety out of the windows.”
Chf Supt Simon Crick who leads the North East Command Unit said: “My thoughts at this time are with the victim and their family and friends. Incidents such as these send shockwaves through our communities and I don’t underestimate the impact this will have in the local area and beyond.
“Your officers will be on patrol in the immediate vicinity over the Easter Weekend, please talk to them if you have any concerns.”
A scene and safety cordons remain in place and enquiries are ongoing.
Detective chief inspector Joanna Yorke of the Met’s Specialist Crime Command said: “We are at the very early stages of our investigation and are still keen to hear from anyone who has information but has not yet spoken with police.
“I understand the effect an incident of this kind will have on the local community and I reiterate Chief Superintendent Crick’s advice that anyone with concerns should speak with local officers. I would like to thank residents in the immediate area for their co-operation while my team conduct their enquiries.
“Our thoughts are with the family of the victim.”
Anyone with information should call police on 101 or Tweet @MetCC quoting 5315/6APR.
To remain 100 per cent anonymous call the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or visit Crimestoppers-uk.org.