Tributes paid to ‘bubbly’ teenager killed in suspected arson attack

The parents of a teenager killed in a suspected arson attack on her flat have paid tribute to their “outgoing and bubbly” daughter.

Emergency services were called to Leah Casson’s home in Vicarage Street, North Shields, North Tyneside, early on Monday and found the 18-year-old dead.

Three others managed to escape the fire, Northumbria Police said.

Ms Casson’s loved ones said: “As a family we are totally devastated by what has happened.

“Leah was an outgoing, bubbly young woman who we loved so much and we can’t believe she has gone.

“Please let us grieve for her as a family and respect our privacy at this time.”

Specialists continue to investigate the fire and police want anyone with information to come forward.

Detective Inspector Louise Jenkins, who is leading the inquiry, said: “Our thoughts are with Leah’s friends and family at this incredibly difficult time.

“Not only have they sustained injuries themselves and lost their home, but they have to come to terms with the loss of a loved one, and we’d ask their privacy is respected while they grieve.

“Our investigation remains ongoing and will do so until we can establish exactly what happened and how Leah came to pass away.

“We are not ruling anything out and are currently treating the incident as suspected arson, but are asking anyone who has information or who thinks they can assist us to come forward.”