Murder Investigation After Pensioner Dies House Fire

An elderly woman who died in a house fire which sparked a murder investigation has been named by police.

Catherine Kelly, 71, from Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, died after a blaze broke out at 11.40pm on Saturday.

She was pronounced dead at the scene while a 41-year-old man was seriously injured and taken by ambulance to Crosshouse Hospital where he is in a stable condition, Police Scotland said.

A 41-year-old woman was also in the property in Kilmaurs Road, but did not require medical treatment.

Neighbours attempted to extinguish the fire and were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation.

A joint investigation by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and Police Scotland has determined that the fire was started deliberately.

Police say they are following a definite line of inquiry regarding her death and say a report will be sent to the procurator fiscal.

Detective Chief Inspector Allan Burton, of Police Scotland, said: "The outbreak of fire within the house on Kilmaurs Road has resulted in the death of an elderly woman.

"Following a joint investigation with our colleagues at the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, we now know that this was a targeted and deliberate act.

"Local residents are understandably shocked and I would like to acknowledge the bravery of those neighbours and passing motorists who raised the alarm and attempted to do what they could to extinguish the blaze.

"I want to reassure local residents that all is being done to trace the person or persons responsible.''

He appealed for anyone with information to contact police.

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