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Man involved in housing row dies after blast at house

Wilton Sterling died in a specialist burns unit in hospital after an explosion inside a house near Finsbury Park.

A man involved in an ongoing housing dispute has died following an explosion at a house being visited by bailiffs.

Wilton Sterling, 55, died in a specialist burns unit in hospital on Sunday after an explosion inside a house on Stapleton Hall Road, near Finsbury Park, north-east London, last Wednesday, the Metropolitan Police said.

Police were called to the address to reports of a man armed with a weapon at around 11.50am, and said five police officers had suffered injuries ranging from burns to a broken wrist.

The man “retreated” into the property when officers arrived and police believe “an accelerant” was poured inside the property before the explosion a short time later.

A Met Police spokesman said: “At this early stage it is believed that an accelerant was poured within the property.

“Officers attempted to communicate with the man but a short time later there was an explosion inside the address.”

The London Fire Brigade, the London Ambulance Service and London’s Air Ambulance attended and the address was evacuated as well as two neighbouring properties as a precaution, police said.

Witnesses described seeing “a big fire going up” and “solid smoke” surrounding the house, which was cordoned off.

The injured officers were taken to a north London hospital for treatment and have all since been released, the force said.

Inquiries into the cause of the explosion are ongoing, the Met said, and the incident is not being treated as terrorism-related.

Detectives are not believed to be looking for anyone else in connection with the incident.

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