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Police treating Harlow house fire deaths as murder

Essex Police have said a house in Harlow that killed six members of the same family is now being treated as a murder investigation.

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Father of children fought hard to save them

The father of four children killed in a house fire in Harlow this morning fought "hard to save his family in appalling conditions" according to a spokesperson from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Team.

The father has been named as Abdul Shakour, a doctor at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow. He is currently in the same hospital suffering from shock and being treated for smoke inhalation.

He is said to be "utterly distraught" by what has happened and is desperate to support the investigation.

His condition in hospital is currently described as "stable".

Dr Shakour's wife Sabah Usmani, 44, who is also a doctor, sons Sohaib, 11, and Rayan, six, as well as 12-year-old daughter Hira, died in their end-of-terrace house in Barn Mead, Harlow, Essex, early this morning.

A third son, Muneeb, nine, and daughter Maheen, four, were rescued by fire crews and taken to hospital in critical condition. Muneeb later died at the Princess Alexandra Hospital while Maheen has been transferred to Broomfield Hospital which has a specialist burns unit.

Essex Police have said they are launching a major crime investigation to determine the facts of the case and are also liaising with local community leaders.

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