Sixth family member dies after Essex house fire

Mother Sabah Usmani and her five children. Three-year-old Maheen is on the far right of the photograph. Photo: ITV News

Three-year-old Maheen Shakoor has died as a result of the house fire, which claimed the lives of her mother and four siblings, a hospital spokesperson has confirmed.

The toddler's mum Sabah Usmani, brothers Sohaib, 11, and Rayyan, six, and her 12-year-old sister Hira, died in their end-of-terrace house in Barn Mead, Harlow, Essex in the early hours of Monday.

A police officer stands guard outside the family home in Harlow. Credit: Press Association

Maheen's nine-year-old brother Muneeb died later in hospital. Her father Dr Abdul Shakoor is continuing to receive treatment in hospital, while police continue to investigate the cause of the blaze.

Tributes have been left at the scene of the fatal fire. Credit: Press Association

Mid Essex Hospital Trust is saddened to inform that late this afternoon Maheen Shakoor, a young victim of the house fire in Harlow, has died. Trust staff and the specialist care team from the St Andrew’s Burns Centre offer their sincere condolences. Dr Shakoor continues to recover from his injuries.

– MID ESSEX HOSPITAL SERVICES NHS TRUST
Emergency services speak to neighbours following the fatal fire. Credit: Press Association

A spokesman for the Princess Alexandra Hospital, where Dr Shakoor worked and where Maheen was initially taken, has said:

None of us can come close to understanding his suffering and the terrible loss of Maheen, Rayyan, Muneeb, Sohaib, Hira and his wife Sabah.

On behalf of all our staff at Princess Alexandra Hospital, we extend our deepest sympathy to Dr Shakoor.

All of us have been saddened by this tragedy and as a close-knit hospital community, many of us know Dr Shakoor and have been overwhelmed by what has happened.

Our book of condolence, which is available for staff to sign in our hospital, is being filled with the most heartfelt and genuine messages which are truly humbling.

Our thoughts and our prayers are with our dear friend and colleague.

Police investigating the blaze say they are not ruling any possibility out and are continuing to investigate whether it was an arson attack.

However, early results suggest the fire started in the lounge at the rear of the house and no accelerant, such as petrol, was used.

Although we have spoken with many people there are still those who have not made contact with us. Very probably they feel they have no information and do not want to waste police time, but in reality if you were at or near the scene of this incident we need you to come forward urgently.

– DETECTIVE SUPERINTENDENT ROB VINSON, ESSEX POLICE'S SENIOR INVESTIGATING OFFIcer