Metropolitan Police charge man with Hackney fire which injured four

Firefighters at the scene in Newick Road in Hackney (London Fire Brigade)
Firefighters at the scene in Newick Road in Hackney (London Fire Brigade)

A man has been charged with arson after a fire in Hackney, east London, which injured four people.

Ian Pitkin will appear at Thames Magistrates’ Court on Monday 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.

He had been quizzed by detectives about the incident on Friday.

Emergency services were called to Newick Road in Hackney on Wednesday around 12.45pm. Those injured were three who were in surrounding properties and one passerby. Dramatic video of the scene showed flames shooting out from the house windows.

London Fire Brigade sent eight fire engines and around 60 firefighters to the scene.

The ground and first floors of the three-storey house were destroyed by the fire, the London Fire Brigade said.

London Fire Brigade station commander Alan Bendell, who attended the scene, said: “Crews worked hard to bring the fire under control and stop the fire from spreading to neighbouring properties."

Three people left the building before the brigade's arrival and four were taken to hospital by London Ambulance Service crews.

Detective chief superintendent James Conway, responsible for policing in Hackney said that none of the injuries are serious.

“Police and partner agencies responded swiftly to a rapidly unfolding incident on Wednesday,” he said.

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

Police had initially said they had arrested the man with regard to a possible hate crime but they did not mention this on the update given on Sunday.

DCS Conway said: “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.”