Murder probe launched after pensioner dies in house fire

Updated: 

Police have launched a murder investigation after an elderly woman died in a house fire.

The blaze broke out at 11.40pm on Saturday in Kilmaurs Road, Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, Scotland. 

A 71-year-old woman was pronounced dead at the scene while a 41-year-old man was seriously injured and was taken by ambulance to Crosshouse Hospital where he is in a stable condition, Police Scotland said.

A 41-year-old woman was also in the property, but did not require medical treatment.

Neighbours attempted to extinguish the fire and were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation.

A joint investigation by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and Police Scotland has determined that the fire was started deliberately.

She has been formally identified and relatives have been informed. A report will be sent to the procurator fiscal.

Detective Chief Inspector Allan Burton of Police Scotland said: "The outbreak of fire within the house on Kilmaurs Road has resulted in the death of an elderly woman.

"Following a joint investigation with our colleagues at the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, we now know that this was a targeted and deliberate act.

"Local residents are understandably shocked and I would like to acknowledge the bravery of those neighbours and passing motorists who raised the alarm and attempted to do what they could to extinguish the blaze.

"I want to reassure local residents that all is being done to trace the person or persons responsible."

He appealed for anyone with information to contact police.