Head leads tribute to Sheffield house fire victims
TWO BROTHERS who died with their sister, aunt and grandmother in a house fire in Sheffield will be remembered for the ‘sparkle in their eyes’, their headteacher has said.
Stuart Jones, who taught Adyan Parwaiz Kayani, aged nine, his seven-year-old brother Amaan at Lydgate Junior School, paid heartfelt tribute to the pair as police and fire enter day two of their investigation into what caused the blaze.
South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service said it has not ruled out the possibility of an arson attack being responsible for the deaths of the youngsters, who perished along with their nine-week-old sister and their aunt, Anum Parwais Kayani, 20, after flames engulfed their home in Wake Road, Sharrow in the early hours of Monday morning.
The children’s grandmother Shabbina Begum, aged 54, had managed to escape the property in the first instance but died after going back inside for a failed rescue attempt.
Mr Jones said: “The staff and pupils at the school were shocked to hear about the tragic deaths of two of our pupils and other members of their family.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the family. We are offering counselling to pupils and staff in the school who have been affected by this tragedy.
“Both boys were very dear to us, and they had many friends here, having been together as a year group for some years. 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.”
Floral tributes lay at the cordoned off scene yesterday as fire and police officers continued to hunt for clues. Grief-stricken members of the community are said to be growing increasingly concerned that no cause has been identified.
A spokesman for South Yorkshire Fire Service said: “Investigations are ongoing, but nothing has been ruled out yet whilst they continue.
“We are unlikely to have an exact cause today but we know the community are worried about what happened, so the sooner we can say the better.”
He added that counselling will be offered to the 25 firefighters who were called out to the property.
Meanwhile neighbours have praised the valiant efforts of the emergency workers who tried to save the family. Hundreds of people gathered at the street looked on in horror as the lifeless bodies of blaze victims lay in the street.
The children’s mother Razia Nazim, who escaped unscathed, is reported to have been held back from trying to re-enter the burning home to rescue the youngsters. Her husband, Nazim Parwaiz arrived home from work to find paramedics trying to revive his relatives.
Neighbour Mohammed Yaris, 35, said: “They kept going and going trying to help save them.
“I don’t think I will ever forget the image I have of seeing the bodies laid out in the street.”
Chief Superintendent David Hartley, of South Yorkshire Police, said: “Considerable efforts were made by police and other emergency services to revive the victims but sadly their efforts were in vain.”
A cordon remains in place at the scene in Wake Road, and police officers and police community support officers are still in the area.
South Yorkshire Police Chief Superintendent David Hartley said: “South Yorkshire Police officers and community support officers remain at the scene of the fire today, offering support to the local community who are understandably struggling to come to terms with this terrible tragedy.
“As we continue our investigation our thoughts remain with family and friends of those who tragically died.”