Man in his 60s charged with arson and carrying a fake gun after Hackney house fire

24 March 2024, 14:38 | Updated: 24 March 2024, 14:58

The ground and first floors of the three-storey house were destroyed by the fire
The ground and first floors of the three-storey house were destroyed by the fire. Picture: James Johnson

By Kit Heren

A man has been charged with arson after a house fire in east London.

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Ian Pitkin, 63, of Newick Road, E5 will appear in custody at Thames Magistrates’ Court on Monday, 25 March charged with arson with intent to endanger life, possession of an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence, and possession of an offensive weapon in a private place.

Four people were hurt in the blaze, which took place on Wednesday, but none were seriously injured.

Detective Chief Superintendent James Conway, responsible for policing in Hackney, said: "Police and partner agencies responded swiftly to a rapidly unfolding incident on Wednesday, 20 March.

Read more: Boy, 16, arrested on suspicion of arson after fire at west London school

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The ground and first floors of the three-storey house were destroyed by the fire
The ground and first floors of the three-storey house were destroyed by the fire. Picture: LBC

"We are pleased that our thorough investigation has led the Crown Prosecution Service to agree these significant charges.

"To protect the integrity of the judicial process and to ensure justice for the victims and our community, we are rightfully limited in what we can now say.

"However, we will continue to engage with our close partners in the local community, including the Community Security Trust and Shomrim to support those impacted by this incident."

London Fire Brigade said on Wednesday that eight fire engines and around 60 firefighters had tackled the blaze, which left the ground and first floors of the three-storey house destroyed.

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