Father's appeal one year after Essex fire kills family

A man who lost his entire family in a house fire in Essex a year ago has spoken on ITV's Daybreak of "sweet memories" of his youngest daughter.

Dr Abdul Shakoor was the only survivor of the blaze which ripped through the downstairs of his family's terraced house in Barn Mead, Harlow, last October.

His wife, Dr Sabah Usmani, and their children, Hira, 12, Sohaib, 11, Muneeb, nine, Rayyan, six, and three-year-old Maheen, were all killed in the fire, which police are still investigating.

Appearing on ITV's Daybreak programme to appeal for witnesses to help him understand what happened, Dr Shakoor wept as he said his youngest daughter would have turned five this month.

He said: "I have really sweet memories of her, you know? She likes to sit, read the books and especially watching her best programme, Fireman Sam.

"So there are very good, sweet memories in our heart and they are everlasting there, but we are missing a lot."

It is thought the fire started after burglars targeted the house. A car was found burnt out nearby in what has been described as a possibly linked incident.

Dr Shakoor urged anyone with information to come forward and share it with police to prevent such tragedies from happening again.

"All of the community would like to know answers why my innocent family was taken away in this way," he said.

"As a great nation we want to make sure that the peace should prevail so the mums and the kids feel safe on the streets and in their homes."

Officers are keen to trace a white man in his late teens to early 20s who was seen on a bicycle near the scene of the crime.

They also want to find the family's black Toshiba Satellite laptop computer which was taken in the burglary.

Detective Constable Nick Newbury said: "A year on, we have interviewed hundreds of people, we have taken nearly a thousand statements, yet we still believe that some of the answers we seek lie within the community."