LONDON - A nine-week-old baby girl and two children aged seven and nine were among five people killed in a house fire in Britain on Monday. Anum Parvaiz, 54, and her 20-year-old daughter Shabina Begum were named as the two adults killed in the blaze in Sheffield, northern England.
"It's a tragedy beyond description," said Parvaiz's cousin Ishfaq Hussain Kayani.
He said a nine-week-old baby girl was among those who had died, as well as nine-year-old Adhyan Nazim and seven-year-old Amaan Nazim. "It's so sad. A couple of hours ago the whole family was leading their normal life," he said.
"Just in a matter of minutes the whole family has been destroyed. The whole family has gone." The local fire service confirmed that two adult females and three young children had died in the blaze.
"An investigation has commenced, involving police and fire officers, to establish the cause of the fire," the service said.
Monitoring adds: The blaze broke out in the terrace house in Sheffield shortly after midnight. Witnesses told how the grandmother ran screaming from the inferno before going back inside to try to save the children.
The fire broke out shortly after midnight in Wake Road. Firefighters used an aerial ladder and hydraulic platform to try to free victims trapped in the top of the building, but were unsuccessful. Forensic teams were combing the property for clues as to how the fire started. Neighbours said a large extended family lived in the house, which like many in the street had attic rooms.
One said: “There were lots of children in that house. It is just terrifying to think that something like this can happen. They were lovely people, would always say hello to you.”
Qurban Hussain, the Labour councillor for Sharrow, said he has known the family for the last 40 years and described them as "very kind, loving and peaceful". He said: "I came down last night when I heard about what had happened. When I saw the fire, I didn’t think anyone would have survived.
"The smoke alarms were going off and the neighbour heard them and called the fire brigade. The neighbour was banging on the door, shouting, and that seemed to wake the family up. "The grandmother came running out of the house, but when she realised the children were still inside she went back in to try and get them out.
"The children’s father and grandfather are both taxi drivers and they were both out working at the time. They are very hard working and they’re always out earning money for their family. "They weren’t there so they couldn’t do anything to help.
"It is such a terrible news. They were such a peaceful, loving family and they were very kind people. They didn’t interfere with anyone else and they were very nice and loving."