Reading fire: Researchers warn families of two missing they are unlikely to be found by Christmas

The families of two people missing following a deadly fire in Reading have been warned by investigators that they are unlikely to be found before Christmas.

Emergency services looking for the couple after a major fire at an apartment building in Reading said a full search of the building could take “several weeks”.

Structural scaffolding is being installed around the building at Rowe Court as there is significant structural damage which creates a high risk of the walls collapsing.

Once the building is secured, emergency services will endeavor to confirm whether the missing persons are in the building.

The fire broke out in the early hours of December 15, killing one person.

Hakeem Kigundu, 31, appeared in Reading Crown Court on Tuesday, December 21, charged with murder and arson in connection with the fire.

The fire caused significant damage to the building structure Credit: ITV News Meridian

Thames Valley Police, Reading Borough Council and the Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service continue to work together to investigate the blaze, secure the building and support those affected and the community at large.

Jason Brock, Head of Reading Borough Council, said: “The local community, indeed Reading as a whole, remains in shock at this horrific fire, which is somehow even more distressing to come than a few days before Christmas.

“It’s a corner of the city just off the busy Oxford Road and a place where a sense of community is strong.

“I have no doubt that it will shine, as it already does, in the difficult days, weeks and months to come.

Help has been on site since the fire of December 15

“Everyone’s thoughts in Reading remain with those most affected and with their families.

“Reading has once again responded warmly and generously in the face of adversity, with offers of help from the affected community and from across the city.

“I thank everyone for their generosity and support to our colleagues in the emergency services.

“I also remind everyone that they can donate to those affected. here.

“The Council will ensure that donations reach displaced residents at the right time. “

Windows were smashed because of the fire Credit: ITV News Meridian

Thames Valley Police Superintendent Steve Raffield said: “It has been an extremely trying time for so many, and our thoughts remain firmly with all those affected by this horrific incident, especially families, friends and relatives. relatives of missing persons.

“Our officers will be in the area as our investigation continues, with neighborhood teams on patrol and available to answer any questions or concerns where possible.”

The families of the missing continue to be supported by specialist Thames Valley Police officers.

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