Three generations of a Muslim family killed in Sheffield
Three generations of a family, including a baby girl and her two young brothers, have died in a house fire.
Relative Ishfaq Kayani said the deaths at Wake Road, Sharrow, in Sheffield, were a “tragedy beyond imagination”.
The victims were his cousin Shabbina Begum, 54, her daughter Anum Parwaiz Kayani, 20, Adhyan Parwaiz Kayani and Amaan Parwaiz Kayani, aged nine and seven, and their baby sister.
Twenty firefighters tackled the blaze which began shortly after midnight.
A police cordon remains in place in Wake Road, a street of mostly terraced houses, as the investigation into the cause of the fire continues.
Mr Kayani said Mrs Begum, the children’s grandmother, had initially escaped the fire but returned to the house in an attempt to rescue them and Miss Parwaiz Kayani, the children’s aunt.
“She gave her life trying to save her grandchildren,” he said.
The children’s mother escaped the fire and their father, a taxi driver, was at work at the time.
Mr Kayani said: “The whole family is in a state of shock, devastated. The whole community is in a sombre mood.
“Friends, relatives, we’re all in huge, huge shock. It’s a tragedy beyond imagination.
“Just in a matter of minutes the whole family has been destroyed. The whole family has gone.
“You can well imagine what the children’s parents are going through. I don’t have the words to describe how the family is feeling, other than shell-shocked, devastated.
“We are a close-knit family, there are enough people around to support the family.
“The children were looking forward to school, and we’ve lost the whole family, just a wonderful family, highly respected.”
Four fire engines from Central, Rivelin, Lowedges and Mansfield Road stations, along with a crew using an aerial ladder platform, went to the scene.
South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue said details about the fire would become clearer after specialist investigators examined the scene.
Abdul Kayum, from the nearby Wolseley Road mosque, knows the victims of the fire and said there were “no words” to describe the grief the family was going through.
People living near the scene of the fire were “absolutely devastated”, he added.
Vicky Edwards, who lives in Wake Road, said: “It’s a shock, of course it’s a shock.
“I got up and saw the police tape and thought ‘what is that about?’ but it was only when I came outside and saw the police officers I realised it was something serious.
“It’s a really nice neighbourhood, the sort of place where kids play outside.”
Another neighbour, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “We were asleep, we did not hear anything or see anything.
“We know the family. It’s such a tragedy, it’s the saddest thing you can hear.”