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BBC Scotland's Jamie McIvor reports
"The flat was severely damaged and the bodies of the two sisters were found in the burning living room"
 real 56k

Saturday, 3 March, 2001, 19:32 GMT
Murder hunt launched after flat fire
Fire and police officers
Police have set-up two incident rooms
Police have launched a murder inquiry after a blaze at a flat in Ayrshire in which a 12-year-old girl and her sister aged 18 died.

Strathclyde Police cordoned off the area round the block in the Fullarton area of Irvine as initial door-to-door inquiries were launched on Friday.

Four other people, including a three-year-old girl, were taken to Crosshouse Hospital, in Kilmarnock, after the fire which broke out at 0730GMT.

Police named the dead as Carrie Marie Murray, 12, and her sister Anna Teresa Murray, 18.

Carrie Marie Murray
Carrie Murray died in the living room
A 20-year-old woman, Amanda Cooper, of Irvine, remains in a critical condition in hospital.

The others casualties, a woman of 18, Ms Cooper's daughter and a 19-year-old man, are said to be in a stable condition in hospital.

The emergency services were quickly on the scene and found a Ms Cooper and her daughter had escaped from the top storey of the building.

Firefighters then managed to get into the blazing building to rescue a man and a woman.

Police named the dead as Carrie Marie Murray, 12, and her sister Anna Teresa Murray, 18.

Anna Teresa Murray
Anna Murray died alongside her sister
The bodies of the dead girls were found in the burning living room.

Detective Superintendent Graham Vance, the officer leading the probe, said: "This is a horrific incident which has resulted in the murder of a young woman and her 12-year-old sister who were staying overnight with friends.

"I would urge anyone in the local community who can help in anyway to catch the person/persons responsible to get in touch with the police."

He said he was anxious to hear from anyone who was in the area at the time of the fire.

DS Vance added that an incident caravan had been set up at the scene and that an incident room would also be set-up in Kilmarnock police station.

He said both would be staffed 24-hours-a-day.

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