Harlow blaze deaths treated as murder

Fire deaths treated as murder

Detectives investigating a house fire which killed six members of the same family are treating the deaths as murder, police said tonight.

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Father speaks at funeral of wife and five children

Dr Abdul Shakoor has spoken at the funeral of his wife and five children who died in a house fire in Harlow, Essex. Dr Shakoor, his voice breaking with emotion, said he has lost everything in his life.

Sabah Usmani, a doctor, and her children - Hira, 12, Sohaib, 11, Muneeb, nine, Rayyan, six, and Maheen, three - died in the fire in Barn Mead last week. Dr Shakoor had desperately tried to save his family from their blazing home.

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Funeral of family killed in Harlow house fire

Six hearses arriving at Harlow Islamic Centre for prayers for a mother and five children killed in a house fire. Credit: ITV Anglia / Serena Sandhu

Under a grey skies the solemn procession of six hearses arrived at Harlow Islamic Centre ahead of the funeral of Sabah Usmani and her five children who were killed in a house fire last week.

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. Father and husband Dr Abdul Shakoor was the only survivor.

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Funeral for family killed in house fire

The people of Harlow in Essex have been invited to line the streets today (Wednesday 24th October) to pay their respects to six members of the same family who were killed in a house fire.

Funerals will be held this afternoon for Dr Sabah Usmani and her five children, who died following the blaze at their home on Barn Mead last week. Their father Dr Abdul Shakoor tried desperately to save his family, but he was the only survivor.

A book of condolence was opened last week, and so far nearly 140 people have written messages to show their support. Hundreds of well-wishers have also laid flowers at the scene.

Police still investigating Harlow fire

Essex Police say 50 officers and special staff are continuing to investigate the cause of a fatal house fire in Harlow.

Dr Sabah Usmani and her five children were killed in the blaze last week. Their father, Dr Abdul Shakoor, was the only survivor.

Essex Police say they expect the full forensic results to be available by Thursday of this week, but that because of the importance of the case a second independent forensic expert will also look at the findings. The force will not release anything until they get these findings back.

Book of condolence to close

A book of condolence set up for the Harlow community to pay its respects to a family killed in a fire will close on Friday 26 October.

138 people have left messages since the book was opened on Thursday. The local council has arranged for the book to be given to Dr Shakoor. whose wife Sabah Usmani and their five children were killed in the blaze last week. Their funerals are to be held tomorrow.

The Leader of Harlow Council Mark Wilkinson, said:

“We have received an overwhelming response... with people leaving such heartfelt messages to those who lost their lives... The Harlow community has rallied round to support Dr Shakoor and pay its respects to the family in so many different ways.”

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