An investigation has been launched following the discovery of a body in a park in west London. Police were called by London Fire Brigade at approximately 04:40hrs on Monday, 13 June, after a body was found following a fire in Belvue Park, Northolt.
Officers have not yet been able to confirm the identity of the person involved, although the body is believed to be that of a male. Urgent enquiries are ongoing to establish further details.
At this early stage, the death is being treated as suspicious and detectives from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command are leading the investigation.
Detective Chief Inspector Claire Hine, the senior investigating officer, said: “This is a complex and fast-moving investigation and we are working to piece together the events that resulted in this person losing their life.
“Our top priority at this stage is identifying the person involved so their family can be informed. We are also carrying out house-to-house enquiries are reviewing CCTV to build a timeline of who was in the area at the time of the fire.
“Officers will be in the park for some time and I would like to thank the community for their understanding as we carry out our thorough investigation. I would also encourage anyone with information about what happened to come forward.” A post-mortem examination will take place in the coming days.
Chief Superintendent Sean Wilson, responsible for local policing in Ealing, said: “Like many people across Ealing I am shocked and saddened by this dreadful news and I recognise it will cause considerable concern in the community. I can assure you that we are doing all we can to work out what happened.
“There is no information at this time to suggest there is any wider risk as a result of this incident and I would ask the public to avoid speculating about the circumstances while our investigation takes place. An increased number of officers will be in the area over the coming days to provide reassurance and listen to your concerns.
Forensic officers are also in attendance and are flying a drone over the scene. London Fire Brigade have also been assisting the investigation.
London Fire Brigade have confirmed that a person has died after firefighters responded to reports of a fire in a park on Rowdell Road in Northolt. In a statement, they wrote:
“Sadly, a person was pronounced dead at the scene.
“The Brigade was called at 0419 and the incident was over for firefighters by 0456. One fire engine from Northolt Fire Station attended the scene.
2 weeks before there was a similar incident. A man found on fire in a park in East London,he has been named locally as Johnny Liverpool. Johnny, 59, died of his injuries after firefighters rushed to Central Park in East Ham on June 2 at 2:20am after reports he was on fire.
Police are still investigating his death which remains unexplained. Johnny was well known in the area as ‘Topoff’ – a street drinker who would drink cans of Special Brew on the benches around the East Ham WW1 Memorial off East Ham High Street South. Friends who drank with him said he was usually “quiet” and “harmless”, with one adding “he kept himself to himself – he was a local man, a good man”.
Close friend Rebecca O’Halloran, 29, filmed him dancing to her portable speaker the night before his death. She had known him for over ten years and said he had mostly slept rough or at his nearby family home. She said he was not suicidal the night of his death. Other friends agreed he was “in good spirits”, while one pal Jenny remembered “he was particularly drunk “.
But, friends say there was also an incident that night between Topoff and some local men. Jenny said: “He had a problem with some boys in the park. They were taking the p*** out of the drunk man. He did not back down. They threw a can at him and he threw it back.” Another friend claimed: “The night before he had an argument with someone. It must have really upset him for him to react and throw a can at someone.”
In a tribute to his brother on GoFundMe, Michael Liverpool said: “Sadly my brother Topoff (Johnny) was taken from us on Thursday. Topoff was one of the most upbeat, funny and giving people you could know. He was the best uncle any child could have, he would even outlast the kids – there was no wearing him out.