Deptford fire death: Brother of Joel Uhrie was ‘at risk’ before arson

Joel UrhieImage copyright Family handout
Image caption Joel dreamed of becoming a firefighter, his family said

The brother of a seven-year-old boy who was killed in an arson attack was known to be at risk a month before his sibling’s death, the BBC understands.

Joel Urhie’s body was found in the bedroom he shared with his mother at the house in Adolphus Street, Deptford, south-east London, on 7 August.

Sam Uhrie, 21, was stabbed in a fight outside the property on 11 June.

The Met Police shared this information with social services at Lewisham Council before the fire.

Joel’s murder investigation is ongoing amid reports that his brother might have been the target and the arson attack was gang-related.

Concerns have been raised over whether enough was done to safeguard the family.

The family’s home could have been fitted with a panic alarm and a fire-proof letterbox if the family were at risk, sources told the the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS)

Image copyright Met Police
Image caption The ground floor, first floor and stairs were badly damaged in the blaze

Despite the family being known to social services, a council spokesperson confirmed there would not be a serious case review of the incident.

Local authorities carry out such reviews when a child is killed or seriously injured and there are safeguarding concerns.

A Lewisham Council spokesperson said: “The death of an innocent child in his own home was an absolute tragedy that shook the local community and everyone concerned.

“The council is currently in contact with the Uhrie family and we are providing the support we can.

“Due to the ongoing police investigation, it is not possible to comment further.”

On 11 August two men, aged 21 and 29, were arrested in south London on suspicion of murder, attempted murder and arson with intent to endanger life.

They were released under investigation.

The Met Police has been contacted for comment.

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