Woman who died in fire on Isle of Dogs may have tried to save others from building

A young woman who died after fire swept through a block of flats on the Isle of Dogs may have been trying to rescue people, it emerged this week.

Sophie Rosser, 23, was returning home from a friend’s birthday, when she phoned her boyfriend Oscar Silva from outside Meridian Place, on Marsh Wall, to warn him the building was ablaze in the early hours of Sunday, August 26.

Oscar, a 28-year-old architect, said: “She told me the whole building is on fire, to wake up our flatmate and just get out. That was the last time I spoke to her.”

Oscar and their flatmate tried to make it downstairs twice but were held back by the smoke.

Instead they headed back to their fifth floor flat to stand on the balcony and saw Sophie being carried out of the building.

“I saw a fireman with Sophie over his shoulder. I felt helpless and hoped for a sign, but could tell she was unconscious.”

Oscar was later told Sophie was found in the corridor of the fourth floor where the fire started.

Most Read

Oscar and their flatmate were led to safety by firefighters and Oscar followed Sophie as she was taken to the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel.


Sophie’s father, Julian Rosser, also rushed to the hospital before his daughter died later that morning. A post-mortem examination showed she died from severe airway burns.

Oscar said: “I know the medics tried their best to keep her alive.”

He said that police had since told him that she was possibly trying to do a heroic act by reaching people inside. “That’s the sort of person she was,” he added.

Oscar said: “She was the woman for me. We wanted to marry and have a family, but she was still young. She was about to start a course in interior design next week. She was very enthusiastic and excited about it. She had so much ahead of her.

“She was a small person with a big heart. She was the most genuine and down to earth girl I ever met. She was not selfish at all and took time to help so many people. She was a beautiful girl with a sparkle in her eyes.”

Sophie, originally from Cardiff in Wales, also leaves behind her mother Michelle and sister Annie, aged 26.

Her father Julian said: “We are absolutely bereft. She was a beautiful and creative person, a real socialite. Everyone loved Sophie.”

The family is now waiting for the outcome of the fire investigation.