Family found dead after Papendrecht fire; crime suspected

Teddy bear left at the scene of a fatal fire on Cremerstraat in Papendrecht, 22 Sept 2018
Teddy bear left at the scene of a fatal fire on Cremerstraat in Papendrecht, 22 Sept 2018. (Photo: @POL_DBU / Twitter)

The bodies of two children, a man and a woman were found after a fire in a home in Papendrecht on Saturday morning. Traces of violence were found on the bodies. "They may not have died in the fire", the Public Prosecutor said in a press conference in Papendrecht on Saturday afternoon, NU.nl reports.

The house fire was reported to emergency services at around 10:30 a.m. on Saturday. Firefighters found the bodies after breaking down the door. Attempts to resuscitate them were to no avail.

The authorities are considering several scenarios. "The most likely is that something happened within the family", the Public Prosecutor said. The investigation is still ongoing.

The family was known to the police and care institutions since the summer of last year, after multiple incidents involving nuisance and domestic quarrels. The children were four and six years old, the man and woman both 32. The house is located on Cremerstraat in the Westeind district of Papendrecht.

Mayor Aart-Jan Moerkerke said that there are still many questions to be answered, but that will have to wait for the investigation. According to the mayor, this incident badly affected the neighborhood. Local residents witnessed a lot of the drama. Victim Support was called in for them. 

Local residents left flowers and stuffed toys outside the home to commemorate the victims. 

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