Homeless pair charged with murder over Streatham house blaze that left man, 49, dead: Two suspects, 34 and 46, to appear in court over 'arson'

Submitted by daniel on updated Wed, 27/03/2024 - 15:10



Homeless pair charged with murder over Streatham house blaze that left man, 49, dead: Two suspects, 34 and 46, - Daily Mail


A homeless pair have been charged with murder following a house fire in south London that left a man dead.

Mayara Loiola Ataide, 34 and Gevaldo Tavares Dos Santos, 46 both of no fixed address, were charged this morning.

They were also charged with two counts of arson with intent to endanger life. Both will appear in custody at Bromley Magistrates' Court later today.

The blaze broke out at a multi-occupancy house on Glenister Park Road in Streatham at 7.07pm on Sunday, 25 February.

A 49-year-old man was found dead inside the property and locals said his body was removed and left on the street for some time before being taken away.

One neighbour told how she and her family only just escaped the inferno after locals alerted them.

The woman who lives next door to the house in question did not initially notice the fire - and believes she and her family would have been killed had a friend not alerted them.

The resident, who asked not to be named, explained: 'My neighbour came banging on my door and said we had to get out.

'Myself, my mother, and my five-year-old son were completely oblivious. We hadn't smelled the smoke. I was upstairs and nearly fell down the stairs rushing to get out of the house.

'The street was completely full of smoke that was billowing out of the house. You couldn't see a thing or breathe.

'I almost lost my son in the panic, it was awful. I could just about make out the light from a street lamp over the road so made for that.

'A minute later and we might have been trapped in our home, I'm so grateful to our neighbour.'

The woman also said that the man's body was left out on the street for a while.

'I'm still in shock. The poor man's body was out in the street for some time.

'I didn't know who he was but I'm going to leave some flowers outside now - no one deserves to go like that. It is horrendous.

Neighbour Uzair Arshad, 31, who lives just a couple doors down from where the fire was, said there were 'flames everywhere'.

He explained: 'I heard a lot of shouting and screaming, so I rushed outside onto the street and I saw the house.

'There were flames everywhere. The fire was huge. People were coming out of their houses, there was lots of panic.

'But the fire brigade and police arrived within minutes.'

The civil servant, who only moved into his house a couple months ago, said: 'We've not been here long so I didn't know who lived there.'

Mr Arshad said that hearing that the fire may have been started deliberately has unsettled him.

'It makes you think about your safety,' he said. 'I have a kid, so it's made me want to think of a plan in case anything goes wrong. It's a lot to hear.'

Other neighbours said they were awoken by screaming on the night of the fire.

A local woman who did not want to give her name said: 'I heard screaming that night and I looked out and I saw flames.

'I called some of my neighbours to let them know but this house, I didn't know who was there.

'This is the problem with the UK. No one knows their neighbours anymore. I just saw them around the house and in their garden.'

The resident, who has lived on Glenister Park Road for nearly 40 years, said the area has changed recently.

'I've lived here since 1987. We used to feel safe,' she said.

'I'd leave my front door open. I'd leave money out for the milkman. Now, with all these HMO licences and multi-occupant places, it's changed everything. I don't feel safe anymore.'

One couple, who also live just metres away from the fire, said the house where the tragedy occurred was known to be 'anti-social'.

The man and woman, who wanted to remain anonymous, said: 'It was an anti-social house.

'They had a lot of very loud parties, and there were always different people coming in and out.'

Police have appealed for witnesses and said they are treating it as an isolated incident.

Detective Chief Inspector Kate Blackburn, leading the investigation, said the scene of the fire has undergone 'extensive' forensic examination.

'We are in the early stages of our investigation, and we are working quickly to piece together the events last night in Glenister Park Road that sadly resulted in a man losing his life,' she said.

'Detectives have spent the day gathering footage from nearby doorbell cameras and other CCTV. The scene of the fire has undergone extensive forensic examination to help us understand how the fire started.

'I would ask anyone in the area who saw any activity on Sunday evening around 6.45pm in Glenister Park Road, between Drakewood Road and Streatham Vale, or has information about the incident, to come forward immediately.

'We understand that such a tragic incident will cause concern among the wider community, however we believe that this is an isolated incident and we have arranged for additional patrols in the area over the coming days to help provide reassurance.'

A post-mortem examination has yet to take place.

Anyone with any information has been asked to contact police on 101 quoting CAD 5631/25Feb.