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Fatal blaze father fights for life

A 49-year-old man remains in a life-threatening condition after suffering severe burns in an arson attack that killed his daughter and grandson.

Two men aged 23 and 37 have been arrested in Coventry on suspicion of murder over the fatal blaze in Chatham, Kent.

The 20-year-old victim, named in reports as Melissa Crook, and her 15-month-old son Noah died in the fire, which broke out at around 2.30am on Saturday.

Her father Mark suffered severe burns, while mother Amanda was left with burn and smoke inhalation injuries. Brother Bohdan, 21, was also hurt while trying to escape the flames.

It is believed that the two men who were arrested know the victims of the arson attack.

Andy Merriman, from Kent Fire and Rescue, said firefighters had to battle their way through an "extreme" blaze to get into the terrace house.

He said: "The incident was a very serious incident in which our crews managed to fight their way in to prevent further spread to adjoining properties. But tragically two people have died."

Detectives have ruled out any link between the fatal fire and a series of arson attacks in the Medway area last month.

Kent Police Chief Superintendent Neil Jerome said: "Our hearts go out to the family and friends of those who have been involved in this very tragic fire, and I would appeal to anybody who was in the Chatham Hill area of Chatham at half past two yesterday morning who has seen anything suspicious, or anything that is connected with this particular tragic incident to make contact with Kent Police."

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