TEACHERS and parents today spoke of their shock at the deaths of five members of a former Hampshire family.
Former Winchester hospital doctor Abdul Shakoor lost his wife and four of his children in a suspected arson attack early Monday morning.
His wife Sabah Usmani, also a doctor, sons Sohaib, 11, and Ryan, six, and 12-year-old daughter Hira died in their end-of-terrace house in Harlow, Essex, where they moved around a year ago.
A third son, Muneeb, nine, and daughter Maheen, three, were rescued by fire crews and taken to hospital in a critical condition but Muneeb died later at the Princess Alexandra Hospital, Harlow.
Hira, Sohaib and Muneeb all attended Stanmore Primary School and acting head teacher Darren Nickerson said it had shocked and upset pupils.
He said: “We are very sad to hear the news of the tragic deaths of former members of our community. We have had some pupils come to us very upset and all of the children and staff who remember them have been asked to take part in creating a memory book to commemorate and celebrate the family.
“They were a lovely family all round and the children were always willing to help out and were a big part of school life. We have fond memories of Hira winning a talent competition in 2011 with her singing and Muneeb was always full of life and a happy-go-lucky child.”