A MURDER investigation has been launched following a fatal fire in Deptford.

Firefighters were called to a blaze in a shop converted into flats in Deptford High Street at around 1.30am yesterday (May 29).

They rescued 82-year-old Giuseppina Fazzani from the ground floor of the building, formerly Lou’s Café, but she was pronounced dead at the scene at around 3am.

Her next of kin have been informed.

A post-mortem examination started at Greenwich Mortuary yesterday afternoon but the outcome is not yet known.

A 55-year-old woman was rescued from the upper floor by firefighters and taken to hospital where she was treated for smoke inhalation.

She has since been discharged from hospital.

An incident room has opened at Lewisham police station under Detective Chief Inspector Cliff Lyons of the Homicide and Serious Crime Command.

DCI Lyons said: "There is evidence that an accelerant was used to start this fire on two adjoining premises in Deptford High Street.

"As a result of this vile attack an elderly lady has died and a further fatality was only prevented by the heroic work of the London Fire Brigade.

"We know one premises is a Vietnamese restaurant and the other a converted café that has been turned into residential accommodation.

"Giuseppina is of Italian descent and is not connected with the Vietnamese restaurant and it is not clear at this early stage of the enquiry why these premises were targeted.

"This attack has left the local community shell shocked and a family devastated at the loss of their loved one.

"I urge anyone with information to call the incident room on 020 8721 4961 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111."

There have been no arrests at present.

A number of other people in adjoining flats were evacuated while the fire was dealt with but there are no reports of them being injured.