Funeral for Harlow house fire family

Sabah Usmani and her five children who was killed in a house fire in Harlow. Photo:

The funeral of a mother and five children who died in a house fire in Harlow, Essex is being held on Wednesday.

Sabah Usmani, a doctor, and her children - Hira, 12, Sohaib, 11, Muneeb, nine, Rayyan, six, and Maheen, three - died in the blaze in Barn Mead, Harlow, last week.

Father and husband Dr Abdul Shakoor was the only survivor.

Six hearses arrive at the Islamic Centre in Harlow for prayers Credit: ITV Anglia / Serena Sandhu
Dr Abdul Shakoor was the only survivor of a fire which killed his wife Sabah Usmani and their five children.

Dr Shakoor will be joined by family members from Pakistan and the US for the funeral at Harlow Islamic Centre.

Zia Rehman, from the centre, said: "We would like to invite members of the general public to line the streets from the Harlow Islamic Centre to Parringdon Road cemetery where Sabah and her children will be buried in line with Islamic traditions.

"This is a tragedy which has hit people across the community and of all faiths and it is important people can feel part of the funeral."

Essex police initially treated the fire as a suspected arson attack but it's now thought to have been an accident. Credit: ITV Anglia

Essex Police initially treated the blaze as a suspected arson attack but no trace of an accelerant used to spark the flames has been found.

Although officers continue to investigate all possibilities it is now thought "increasingly likely" the fire was a tragic accident.

A book of condolence set up for the Harlow community to pay its respects to the family has passed 130 messages and will close on Friday.

Harlow Council has made arrangements for the book to be passed on to Dr Shakoor.

The dozens of floral tributes for the victims of the Harlow house fire. Credit: ITV Anglia