Second man charged with murder after casual worker dies in fire

Detectives are appealing for dashcam footage and information to identify the victims of a fatal fire

Detectives are appealing for dashcam footage and information to identify the victims of a fatal fire on the A406 in Ilford. Picture: Met Police - Credit: Archant

Detectives investigating a fatal fire that claimed the life of a casual labourer who may have worked in Barking and Dagenham have charged a second man with murder.

Officers were called at around 11.45pm on Tuesday, June 18 to reports of a fire on land next to the southbound carriageway of the A406 at Ilford. London Fire Brigade attended alongside officers and London Ambulance Service.

The two victims, both believed to be homeless and aged in their 40s, were living under tarpaulin on a temporary campsite constructed on scrubland that police believe was home to a small number of people.

The first man, who had sustained almost 100 per cent burns, was found nearby the site by fire crews.

He was taken to the Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel, where he died within hours of arrival.

The second injured man managed to make it to the roadside. He was taken to the specialist burns unit at Broomfield Hospital, where he remains in an induced coma in a critical condition. The identities of both men are as yet unconfirmed.

The 37-year-old man has been charged with murder, attempted murder and arson with intent to endanger life and appeared in custody at Barkingside Magistrates Court on Saturday.

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A 51-year-old man appeared at Barkingside Magistrates' Court on Friday also charged with murder, attempted murder and arson with intent to endanger life.

He was remanded to appear at the Central Criminal Court on Tuesday, June 25.

Police have issued a new appeal for information in a bid to determine the identity of a man in his 40s who died as a result of his burns and another man with him who remains in a critical condition in hospital.

Detectives are urging any members of the public who can provide information that will help them establish the identity of the two victims, to come forward.

Enquiries are continuing to establish the cause of the fire, which is currently being treated as suspicious.

Detective Chief Inspector Paul Considine, leading the investigation, said: "We are releasing additional details today, including the locations of the hospitals, as we really need to hear from anyone who knows or think they may know either or both of these men to help us with our investigation. I am particularly appealing to the East European community to come forward, as we think both men may be of Romanian origin.

"We believe that the deceased man may have been called Majea or Manea, but we do not know if this is a first name, surname or even a correct name, while the second man in hospital in Essex might be called Pedro, or Petra, but again we can't be sure this is right.

"We've also been told that both men may well have worked as casual labourers in the east London area of Ilford or Redbridge or Barking and Dagenham, as the area where this fire took place is close to the borough border. Perhaps you employed them, or worked with them?

"If you know anything at all, however insignificant you think it might be, we really need to hear from you as it might be the piece of information that we need to piece together the bits of information we currently have in order to create a fuller picture of what happened.

"We also want to hear from anyone who knows anything at all about how this fire was caused. We know that after it started, two men came out onto the A406 in an attempt to seek assistance from passing drivers.

"Did you see these two men on the verge when you were driving past, or do you have relevant dashcam footage? If so, please contact us - this was a horrific incident which has caused one man to lose his life, and may claim the life of another."

Anyone with information should call 101 or the incident line number 020 8345 3865 quoting either Operation Rochefort or 9090/18JUN.