Two little boys ‘with a sparkle in their eyes and a smile on their faces’ died together with their baby sister, grandmother and aunt in a blaze which has devastated a Sheffield community.
Adyan Parwaiz Kayani, aged nine, his seven-year-old brother Amaan, and their nine-week-old sister whose name has not yet been released, all perished as flames ripped through their family home in the early hours yesterday.
Their grandmother Shabbina Begum, aged 54, and aunt, Anum Parwais Kayani, 20, also lost their lives in the blaze. Shabbina – who had already got out of the burning house on Wake Road, Nether Edge – died going back in trying to save the children, relatives revealed. The boys attended Lydgate Junior School in Crosspool, where devastated headteacher Stuart Jones spoke of his sadness.
“Both boys were very dear to us, and they had many friends here, having been together as a year group for some years,” he said.
“They had a sparkle in their eyes and most often a smile on their faces.
“They brought joy and a liveliness to our school, and everyone who worked with Amaan and Adyan enjoyed doing so.”
He added: “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the family.
“We are offering counselling to pupils and staff who have been affected by this tragedy.”
Relative Ishfaq Hussain Kayani praised Mrs Begum for trying to save her grandchildren.
“She came out, went back in, and tried her level best. Frantic efforts were made to rescue the children. She gave her life trying to rescue the grandchildren,” he said.
He described the loss of life as ‘a tragedy beyond description’.
“In the space of a few minutes five precious lives have gone,” he said. “It’s a huge tragedy. Words cannot describe how sad this is. It’s a tragedy beyond description.
“I don’t have the words to describe how the family is feeling, other than shell-shocked, devastated.”
He said the family was ‘highly respected’ - and described the three young children who died as ‘adorable’.
“They were such a loving family, a likeable family, very well respected,” he said.
Nether Edge Labour councillor Qurban Hussain, who has known the family for 40 years, said: “I saw three bodies on the pavement, it was horrific.
“From what I understand, the older lady escaped but then ran back in to try to save the children and died later on.
“It is a very sad day for our community. They were honest, caring and hard working people.”
Razia Nazim, the children’s mother, is said to be ‘crying beyond control’ at their deaths.
Mr Kayani said she was in ‘a state of shock’.
“She is crying beyond control. Her emotions are beyond control,” he said.
Her husband Nazim Parwaiz is a taxi driver with Sheffield firm City Taxis. A spokesman for the company said: “Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this tragic time.”
Emergency services were alerted to the blaze in the terraced house, close to the junction with Emily Road, at around 12.15am yesterday.
Firefighters braved heat, flames and smoke to enter the burning three-storey house while crowds of around 300 concerned members of the community gathered outside.
Medical supplies yesterday lay discarded outside the house, where paramedics had battled in vain to revive those carried out of the property.
An investigation into the cause of the blaze is under way.