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2,000 attend blaze family funeral

More than 2,000 people have packed into a mosque for the funeral of five members of the same family, including three children, who died in a house fire.

Shabina Begum, 53, died along with her three grandchildren - Adyan Parwaiz Kayani, nine, Amaan Parwaiz Kayani, seven, and their nine-week-old sister Minahil - in the blaze in Sheffield last week.

Mrs Begum's daughter, Anum Parwaiz, 20, the children's aunt, also died in the fire at the family home in Wake Road, in the Nether Edge area of the city, last Monday.

The main hall of the Masjid Mosque in Sheffield was packed for the funeral this afternoon as well as a number of other rooms and stairwells in the complex.

Around 300 people prayed outside.

Speaking before the ceremony, Nazia Parwaiz Kayani, another daughter of Mrs Begum and aunt of the three children, cried as she remembered the bravery of her mother, who made her way to safety but died trying to rescue her grandchildren.

"Our thoughts would be incomplete without mentioning the selfless heroism of my beloved mother, Shabina Begum, who went back into the house to try and rescue the family she adored," she said.

"She made the ultimate sacrifice.

"My beautiful mum. My beautiful little sister. My little nephews Adyan and Amaan. My baby niece Minahil. You have gone from our lives but have never been forgotten."

Ms Parwaiz Kayani said: "We are devastated by the loss of our beloved family and their untimely passing has left an unimaginable void in our lives forever."

She struggled to make the comments at a press conference where she sat next to her father, Sultan Parwaiz Kayani, who lost his wife, daughter and three grandchildren in the blaze.

Ms Parwaiz Kayani also praised one of her cousins who made brave efforts to get into the burning house.

Earlier, there were emotional scene before the funeral as the three hearses carrying the five coffins stopped outside the scene of the fire in Wake Road. Family members comforted each other at the side of the road and local residents came out to pay their respects.

The cortege drove the short distance to the mosque which was packed with people on all three of its floors. Every available room and corridor of the large building was used by mourners and the ceremony was also broadcast on speakers outside.

Police blocked roads in the surrounding area due to the amount of people attending.

After the hour-long funeral, the coffins were carried out to the waiting hearses through a mass of people.

All three of the children's coffins were carried in one vehicle as the cortege made its way to a burial ceremony at the city's City Road Cemetery.

A joint police and fire service investigation into the fire is ongoing but its is not thought that the cause is suspicious.


From Belfast Telegraph