Video shows moment fire engulfs murder trial house
CCTV footage of the
moment fire crews arrived at the house fire
A murder trial saw dramatic footage
today of the moment firefighters arrived at a fatal house
Stunned neighbours could only watch as flames billowed from the
front door in CCTV footage taken from cameras mounted to the first
fire engine on the scene.
The fire in Chatham Hill, Chatham, killed three members of the
same family - Melissa Crook, her father Mark and toddler son
Mark Crook (left), his
daughter Melissa and her toddler son Noah were killed in a house
It is alleged her husband Danai Muhammadi (pictured below) paid
friend Farhad Mahmud, a Maidstone bouncer, to help him spray petrol
through the letterbox after Melissa left him. His new girlfriend
Emma Smith "goaded" him into murder, the court heard.
Firefighters took just three minutes to
get from Medway fire station in Watling Street, Gillingham, to the
blaze at 2.32am on September 10 last year.
They arrived to a scene of chaos, with neighbours smashing
windows to try and save the family.
Only Melissa's brother Bohdan, 22, and mum Amanda, 50, escaped
Both gave harrowing evidence last week.
Firefighter Stephen Enright, who went into the house with
breathing apparatus, said the smoke stopped him seeing more than
six inches ahead.
The video was part of a cache of evidence shown to the jury
It also included footage of a man, said to be Muhammadi, filling
a petrol can and a weedkiller sprayer with petrol at a nearby
CCTV footage of a man
filling a petrol can and weedkiller sprayer
The footage (above) was taken just after 2.10am - 20
minutes before the fire - at the Texaco garage in Maidstone
A Hozelock Courier garden sprayer was later found in Mahmud's
bath containing traces of petrol.
A fire expert told the court it would be perfect for squirting
petrol deep into the hallway to cause the maximum amount of
The driver at the Texaco garage was "in no hurry", the court
heard, as he bought two Red Bull drinks and two chocolate bars,
paying £15.34 altogether.
The trial also heard a 999 call today (below) which was made
minutes after the fire broke out - allegedly by defendant Emma
She told police Muhammadi asked her to make the call, in which
she called Chatham "Chatnam". She claimed she had no involvement in
the fire itself.
But prosecutors claim she knew what was planned and made the
call from Mahmud's flat while waiting for the two men to
Other evidence seen by the jury today included a mobile phone
video of Muhammadi playing a guitar just hours before the fire.
In high spirits, he plays along to music on a laptop. He had his
head in his hands when the video was played.
Police at the scene of
the house fire in Chatham Hill
The last words were a woman, said to be Smith, saying 'Who lost?
Who lost?' He answered: 'Melissa'.
Muhammadi, 24, of Britannia Street, Coventry, Mahmud, 35, of
Fernhill Road, Maidstone, and Smith, 21, of Barley Lea, Coventry,
all deny three counts of murder and two of attempted murder.
The trial continues.
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