One person has died and a murder investigation has been launched after a fire ripped through a block of flats in Reading.

Flames crackling like “glass bottles smashing” woke residents of Rowe Court at 3am on Wednesday, injuring at least 11 more people.

Police arrested a 31-year-old man on suspicion of arson and murder and continue to search for multiple flat residents they said are “unaccounted for.” 

Reading Chronicle:

“We could hear people shouting,” said a resident of nearby Osborne Road who did not want to be named.

“There was a lady stuck in there waving a white hanky out the window,” she said.
Her neighbour added that she first thought the fire was someone smashing bottles on the ground.

“How many people lost their houses before Christmas? It’s very sad,” said Elizabeth Dylewska, who also lives near Rowe Court.

Read the full story in this week's Reading Chronicle, out now. 

Also in this week's paper: 

  • The latest on the Beth Aspey murder trial: Ben Shand denies killing his girlfriend in a hammer attack 
  • Devastated mother of Whitley stab victim Mark Grimes speaks out as he recovers at home in a coma
  • Girl, 14, who admitted manslaughter of Olly Stephens sees her prison sentence increased 
  • Memories of inspiring Charlie Ilsey, who died of brain tumour, live on as his mum sets up a dog day care centre in his honour 


  • In the Dock: The latest from Reading Magistrates' Court
  • Special eight-page supplement on Reading FC 
  • Two pages of nostalgia looking back at the swinging 60s in Reading 
  • Two pages of your letters to the editor 
  • Four pages of local sports news

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