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EDITIONS
Wednesday, 4 December, 2002, 10:28 GMT
Arson victim was battling cancer
Fire
Ms McDonald had been in an upstairs bedroom
The family of a Leicester woman killed in an arson attack a few weeks before her wedding day say she had been battling cancer.

Susan McDonald, a mother-of-four, died in the arson attack at her house in Broughton Astley in the early hours of Sunday morning.

In a statement, her family said they had also lost all their possessions as the house was uninsured.

They appealed for anyone with information about the fire to contact police.

Susan McDonald
Susan McDonald leaves four children
Emergency services were called to the house in Cookes Drive, Broughton Astley, Leicester at 0050 GMT on 1 December.

The police started a murder inquiry once it became apparent the fire was started deliberately.

Ms McDonald, 47, died from smoke inhalation while her fiancÚ, Rod Harris, jumped from a window, suffering a broken ankle.

In a statement, the family said: "We are numb. It hasn't sunk in yet, it's just been such a shock to all of us.

"Mum was such a lovely, genuine and kind woman.

"She thought about everyone else before herself and really wanted to look after the people she cared about.

"We simply can't understand why this has happened.

"Everyone liked her and she didn't have any enemies.

Everything lost

"She has been having a hard time over the last few months and had been receiving treatment for cancer. Things had just started to get better.

"If anyone knows anything that can help find out what happened and find the people responsible we want them to speak to the police."

The family added they had lost everything in the uninsured house but expressed gratitude to those who had tried to help their mother and had come to their aid.

Police have appealed for anyone who was in the area around the time of the fire to contact them.

Ms McDonald leaves four children Clare, Ben, Paul and Matt, and a grandchild, Lucy.


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02 Dec 02 | England
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