|Sole survivor: Abdul Shakoor (centre with white shirt) walked hand in hand to the cemetery today to say goodbye to his wife and five children who died in a house fire last week|
A father who is the sole survivor of a house fire which k**led his wife and five children attended the family’s funeral today.
Abdul Shakoor joined family from Britain, Pakistan and America for the funeral at the Harlow Islamic Centre after the blaze which k***led his wife Sabah Usmani and children Hira, 12, Sohaib, 11, Muneeb, 9, Rayyan, 6, and Maheen, 3 in Harlow, Essex, last week.
|Tragic accident: Essex Police initially suspected an arson attack but it is now thought 'increasingly likely' that the fire was a tragic accident|
Dr Shakoor, 45, had been discharged from Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford on Friday where he was treated for smoke inhalation as he fought to rescue his family at their end-of-terrace house.
A foot procession to the nearby Parringdon Road cemetery followed prayers at the centre.
|Martyrs: The victims (from left) Hira, 12, Sohaib, 11, their mother Sabah Usmani, Rayyan, 6, Muneeb, 9 and Maheen, 3. At the service, the imam said those killed by fire die as martyr|
Six hearses led the way, from that carrying the smallest coffin belonging to Maheen, who was due to celebrate her fourth birthday yesterday, to Dr Usmani at the rear. Dr Shakoor followed behind, with community elders holding his hands in a show of solidarity. At the service the imam reassured some 400 mourners that, under Islamic tradition, those killed by fire die as martyrs.