The Slater clan is to be rocked by a fire that will leave one family member fighting for their life. In scenes to be shown on EastEnders this autumn, a blaze will tear through the Slaters' family home, with characters including Kat (Jessie Wallace), Alfie (Shane Richie), their newborn twins, Stacey (Lacey Turner) and Mo (Laila Morse) among those trapped inside.
Kat and Alfie will be seen celebrating the birth of their baby boys in the coming weeks, but celebrations look set to turn to heartache as the inferno leaves one member of the household on the critical list.
A source told the Daily Star: "This is one of the biggest storylines of the year and will kick-start an action-packed autumn in Albert Square. The fire isn't a big stunt, it's more about what happens in the aftermath. It's going to be a very moving and emotional storyline as at least one person is rushed to hospital with life-threatening injuries."
The insider added: "It's going to be heartbreaking as the scenes play out. There was lots of screaming and crying when we filmed the fire episodes."
In a twist, viewers are to discover that the blaze is not an accident and that the arsonist will be left battling with their conscience: "Everyone will be shocked when they discover who it is. The arsonist will have to live with the consequences of his or her actions for the rest of their life."
Over the years, EastEnders has aired many high-profile conflagrations, most notably the fire at the Queen Vic pub in 2010 that paved the way for the exit of Barbara Windsor as landlady Peggy Mitchell.