Police investigating a fire at the London home of a prolific TikTok family have confirmed the blaze is being treated as arson.
Residents The Smithy Family - a UK TikTok account which has amassed nearly 3 million followers on the platform - were being trolled on social media and blamed for the devastating inferno.
Investigators said the family of five had received "baseless allegations on social media that they are responsible" - claims which have now been quashed by police who have confirmed the family are not suspects.
The Smithy Family account is known for lighthearted videos and comedy skits about being a family.
This is everything you need to know.
Who are the Smithy Family?
The Smithy Family is a comedy TikTok account that consists of dad Nick, mum Jess and their children. The couple have two daughters together, six year old Amelia and nine year old Isabella, plus a young baby.
Nick also has a son, 13 year old Ben, and Jess’ half brother, 16 year old Jack and his girlfriend Amy, are both also regular characters in their videos.
The account began as a few videos documenting family life in lockdown and has since grown to 2.8 million followers and nearly 3 million likes across the videos.
The account became so popular that dad Nick decided to give up his day job as a builder so he could focus full time on TikTok content.
Nick has revealed that he is currently in the process of building, what he called a “content warehouse”, where he and other content creators can film in.
What happened to their house?
CCTV footage showed two suspects appearing to set fire to a Ford S-Max on the drive outside the home using a milk carton filled with petrol between 10.30pm and 11pm on the night of July 14.
Nick Smith - described as a "pest in a vest" by neighbours - and his family, believe their home was set alight because of their new found social media fame.
He said at the time he and his family will never be able to live in the house again as they fear they are being targeted.
In the weeks leading up to the attack, the family were sent “95 takeaways and prostitutes" by "jealous haters" before the fire after their address was leaked online.
The family’s "funny" and "heart-warming" videos attracted a large following since Mr Smith joined TikTok a couple of years ago - but has since attracted unwanted attention.
Nick Smith, 33, said at the time of the fire some on social media were "trying to claim glory" for burning their house down - where his partner, Jess, was born.
Neighbours came to the family’s aid as the blaze took hold, helping carry their two daughters and six-week-old baby boy over the back garden fence to safety.
Despite the seriousness of the fire, no one was injured and as yet no arrests have been made, police said.
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What have the police said?
Detectives this week again called for anyone who has information about the arson attack to come forward.
Detective Sergeant Danny Banks, from the Met's Serious and Complex Investigations Unit, said: "The victims in this incident are prominent on social media and have suffered a hugely distressing ordeal, not least because they have lost their home but have also since suffered baseless allegations on social media that they are responsible for this incident.
"I am happy to state that they are not and remain supportive of our investigation. It is vital we hear from anyone with information."
A Fiat Punto police wanted to trace as part of the investigation has now been eliminated from inquiries.
Anyone with information can call police on 101 or tweet @MetCC quoting CAD 8350/14July or anonymously call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or visit Crimestoppers_uk.org.
What has the reaction been like?
The Smith Family have received an outpouring of support from their fans, across TikTok and other social media platforms as well.
A GoFundMe page has also been set up to help the family recover from the effects of the fire.
The fundraiser, set up by Tom Manley, states in the description: “Hi there. What the Smithy family have been through is just disgusting.
“As a family man with another little one on the way myself, this fire has really upset me.
“There’s some sick people out there.
“Together we can try to give something back, I know Nick would do the same for us, he’s a fantastic man who helps others all the time!”
The GoFundMe fundraiser has a goal of £50,000, and has currently raised £36,790, with nearly 3,000 people donating to the cause.
One donor wrote: “Can't believe this happened to a family that brings such happiness to others especially during dark times, don't understand what is wrong with people. I hope our contributions help x”
Another said: “My heart is broken watching what's happened. This is an absolute amazing family, absolutely disgusting what they've had to go through.”
“This act of deliberate harm to this family has disgusted me, and this is my way of sharing a little piece of love to this wonderful family,” wrote another.
Has the family addressed the fundraiser?
Posting a video to the TikTok account, Nick and his partner Jess acknowledged the fundraiser set up by fans.
Nick said: “We’ve seen what you guys have been doing and it’s so generous what you’ve done, and it’s made us smile and we appreciate the offer of doing that.”
Jess then said: “But we’re meant to be giving to you, you not giving to us.”
Nick continued: “It doesn’t sit right with us, we call upon your help with charity stuff, not for us.
“It would feel like a wrongdoing, and it’s not why we’re on here. I think it’s so nice what everyone has done.”
Jess added that they just “wanted to thank you”.
Nick finished the video by saying: “I think we can maybe find another way or something else to do with the money that’s been donated. So thank you guys.”
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