Detectives investigating an arson that claimed the life of seven-year-old Joel Urhie four years ago are renewing appeals for information.

On 7 August 2018, emergency services were called to a fire at the house on Adolphus Street, SE8 where Joel lived with his family.

Joel’s body was found by emergency services in the upstairs bedroom he shared with his mother.

His mother and older sister, who were also upstairs at the property, managed to escape by jumping from first floor windows.

A post-mortem examination conducted at St Thomas’ Hospital on 8 August 2018 found Joel’s injuries to have been consistent with fire and smoke inhalation.

A murder investigation was launched, and detectives believe the fire was started when a burning item was pushed through the letterbox.

Joel’s mother, Iroroefe O Edu , said: “It will be four years on the 7th of August 2022 since Joel died due to the fire thrown in the house. Up until now, the perpetrators of this atrocity and dastardly crime have not been unearthed.

“If you have any information or know anything, or anyone, who may be responsible for causing the fire, can you come forward please?

“With you coming forward, it will prevent the person/persons responsible from doing the same thing to another family.

“Joel was in his own house that is supposed to be a safe environment for him, when the fire incident that claimed his life happened. He was only seven years old.”

Anyone with information is asked to call the dedicated incident room on 020 8345 3715, 101 or Tweet @MetCC.

Detective Chief Inspector Mark Rogers, from Specialist Crime North, said: “This Sunday marks four years since a young boy’s life was tragically taken. Our thoughts are with Joel’s family, and we will continue to provide them with the support they need.

“Joel and his family should have been planning for him to go to secondary school next month. They will not have the opportunity to do what many other families will be doing at such a defining moment in a child’s life.

“Someone knows why this happened; I would ask that you search your conscience and do what is right. Joel’s family deserve answers, and an explanation as to why his future was stolen from him.

“Our investigation will not stop, and I would urge anyone who has information, regardless of how small or insignificant you might think it to be, to contact us.”

To remain 100% anonymous call the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 where you will not be asked for your name and your IP address will not be recorded.

+ In August 2018 a 21-year-old man [A] and a 29-year-old man [B] were arrested on suspicion of murder, attempted murder and arson with intent to endanger life. Both were later released no further action.

In August 2020, three further men – [C] 24, [D] 21, [E] 22 – were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder. They are currently released under investigation.