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Police "highly unlikely" to find any further survivors after fatal Reading fire

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Investigators with Thames Valley Police (TVP) have stated that they do not expect to find any further survivors after a fire ripped through a block of flats in Reading this morning (Wednesday).

A fire was reported at Rowe Court, a block of flats on the east side of Tilehurst, at 2.56am this morning.

One fatality is confirmed so far, and a man has been arrested on suspicion of arson and murder.

Superintendent Steve Raffield speaks at the scene (credit: TVP Reading).
Superintendent Steve Raffield speaks at the scene (credit: TVP Reading).

Three people have been taken to hospital to be treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

Ambulance crews treated eight people on the scene and a number were evacuated to be cared for by the local authority and its partners.

Numerous others remain unaccounted for, and Thames Valley Police have appealed to the public for information.

Specific details regarding the number of occupants in the flat – and the identity of the deceased – have not been disclosed.

At a press briefing at 3.30pm, Superintendent Steve Raffield spoke from the scene of the incident.

He said: "We have been working alongside our partner agencies to do everything we can to find signs of life.

"Sadly, it is highly unlikely we will find any further survivors in the building.

"The building itself is unstable, and it will be a complex operation for our teams as we move through today. We expect this phase of the operation to continue into the evening, and perhaps beyond."

The briefing can be viewed in full on TVP Reading's Facebook page.

Anybody with concerns regarding their loved ones can make a report online, or by calling 0800 051 6079, or 020 7126 7641 from outside the UK.

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