MORE than 100 residents in a street where two people have died in house fires are to be offered free smoke alarms.

The move by fire bosses follows the death of Ismail Mulla, 28, whose body was found in a house in Queen's Park Road, Blackburn, earlier this month.

In November, 1996, in a nearby house, seven-year-old Mehvish Mehboob also died after flames engulfed his home.

Divisional Officer Barry Bennett, of Lancashire Fire Brigade, said: "There are certain problem areas where we have not succeeded in our drive to get houses fitted with smoke detectors.

"We will be offering about 100 smoke alarms to people living near where the fatalities occurred in Queen's Park Road.

"We will also be offering residents advice on fire safety in the home."

The fire service has contacted local councillor Salim Mulla who is writing to residents to inform them about the free alarms.

He said: "It is a wonderful gesture from the fire service and it shows they are concerned. There have been two tragic deaths in this street and the residents need educating about the dangers of fire."

Mr Mulla died on March 5 and his identity was confirmed using dental records. A post-mortem examination revealed there were no suspicious circumstances and an inquest is expected shortly.

Mehvish Mehboob died while sleeping near broken and defective gas fire which had not been fitted by a registered engineer.

At the time, his death sparked a major fire safety warning when the fire service pleaded with householders to fit smoke alarms.

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