Murder Inquiry After 'Vile Attack'

Police have launched a murder investigation following the death of an elderly woman in a flat fire, believed to have been started by an accelerant.

Giuseppina Fazzani, 82, was pronounced dead at the scene of the "vile attack" on her home in Deptford High Street, south London, yesterday morning, Scotland Yard said.

A 55-year-old woman was rescued from a second flat by the London Fire Brigade and treated for smoke inhalation. She has since been discharged from hospital.

A number of other residents in adjoining flats were evacuated while the blaze, which began around 1.40am, was tackled by firefighters.

DCI Lyons said:

"There is evidence that an accelerant was used to start this fire on two adjoining premises in Deptford High Street.

"As a result of this vile attack an elderly lady has died and a further fatality was only prevented by the heroic work of the London Fire Brigade.

"We know one premises is a Vietnamese restaurant and the other a converted cafe that has been turned into residential accommodation.

"Giuseppina is of Italian descent and is not connected with the Vietnamese restaurant and it is not clear at this early stage of the inquiry why these premises were targeted.

"This attack has left the local community shell-shocked and a family devastated at the loss of their loved one."

Ms Fazzani was due to celebrate her 83rd birthday on Monday.