Sasha Marsden, 16, was found Thursday night in an alley near the hotel in Blackpool, The Daily Telegraph reported. She lived in the town on the Lancashire coast with her parents and was studying childcare at Blackpool and The Fylde College.
The fire triggered a smoke alarm at one of the hotels in the area, witnesses said. The first people on the scene thought the body was a mannequin.
"Three of us ran out and we were trying to extinguish the flames. I didn't realize it was a body at first," said Carl Evans, owner of the Kimber House Hotel. "The girl was curled up in the fetal position. She was very small and it looked like she had no legs."
Detective Superintendent Andy Murphy is heading what he called an "incredibly difficult and complex inquiry." A man, 22, and woman, 22, who run one of the hotels in the area were held on suspicion of murder but had not been formally charged Friday.