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BBC Scotland's Nigel Robson reports
"Investigators believe the fire began in a small entrance hallway"
 real 56k

Thursday, 14 June, 2001, 15:03 GMT 16:03 UK
Murder probe after fire death
Wester Hailes flats
The blaze broke out on Thursday morning
Police have launched a murder inquiry after a fire in an Edinburgh flat claimed the life of an 18-year-old man.

Investigators believe that the blaze in the city's Wester Hailes area was started deliberately.

The early morning outbreak was in the top floor home of a family who neighbours say have lived there for many years.

Firefighters and paramedics tried to revive the young man, who has not been named.

Fire engine outside the flats
Five people were rescued from the block
However, he was dead by the time he reached the city's Royal Infirmary.

Two men, two women and a baby were rescued from the block by firefighters.

The blaze is said to have broken out at 0235 BST at the building in Barn Park.

Police identified the dead man as Imran Saleem, who lived at the address where fire broke out.

Detectives also said they were seeking two youths in connection with one of two fire raising incidents, involving a car belonging to the Saleem family, which occurred in recent weeks.

Superintendent Jinty Kerr said: "We are obviously very interested in finding out if anybody has seen or heard anything that preceded this fire and if anybody has any information that may help us in our investigations we would be pleased to hear from them.

"We are at this point treating the fire as suspicious. Forensic experts are still examining the scene, but it appears that the fire was started behind the front door of the flat.

"We are keeping an open mind as far as the causes concerned, as to who is responsible and we are following a number of lines of inquiry at the moment."

She said police had been in contact with local ethnic groups as the fire had involved a Pakistani family but added that detectives now thought the fire raising was "unlikely" to have been racially motivated.

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See also:

14 Apr 01 | Scotland
Probe started after fire kills two
17 Mar 01 | Scotland
Police renew appeal over fire deaths
14 Jan 01 | Scotland
Police probe castle fire
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