Police in the UK have arrested five people in connection with fatal house fire in Leicester

Friday 20 September 2013 11.06
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The fire broke out at the home in Leicester in the early hours of yesterday morning
The fire broke out at the home in Leicester in the early hours of yesterday morning
Muhammad Taufiq al-Sattar spoke publicly for the first time about the loss of his family
Muhammad Taufiq al-Sattar spoke publicly for the first time about the loss of his family
Neighbours reacted with disbelief to the idea that the family could have been intentionally killed
Neighbours reacted with disbelief to the idea that the family could have been intentionally killed

Police in the UK have arrested five people in connection with the fatal house fire in Leicester.

Three women aged 19, 20 and 27 and two men aged 49 and 19, were arrested this afternoon.

A murder investigation was launched on Friday after Shehnila Taufiq, who was in her 40s, her daughter Zainab, 19, and sons Jamal, 17, and 15-year-old Bilal died in the blaze at a house in Wood Hill.

The husband and father of the deceased, Muhammad Taufiq al- Sattar, is a neurosurgeon who works in a number of hospitals in Ireland including Beaumont Hospital in Dublin.

Earlier, Mr Sattar spoke about the loss of his family in the fire saying he hopes "justice will prevail".

"What has happened has happened and nothing can be reversed", he said.

It was the first time Mr Sattar had spoken publicly about the loss of his family.  He said: "I deeply miss my beautiful wife and three beautiful children".

He thanked the local community for its support and the police for their work in investigating the blaze.

It comes as Leicester Police said they are "confident" there is no evidence that the family were involved in the incident on nearby Kent Street where a man was murdered.

Asst Chief Constable Roger Bannister said police are still investigating if there is any link between the two incidents.

Fire broke out in early hours of Friday morning

The cause of the fire that killed the family is being investigated.

The fire broke out at their home in the Spinney Hills area of Leicester in the early hours of yesterday morning.

The mother and her children died in their bedrooms.

Neighbours of the family reacted with disbelief to the idea that they could have been intentionally killed.

One theory emerging locally is that the family may have been the victims of mistaken identity and not the intended targets.

Family lived in Ireland for several years

The family is originally from Pakistan and had a home in Ireland for at least 15 years. They were together about a month ago spending the festival of Ramadan in Ireland.

The children moved to the UK with their mother about five years ago for Islamic education but returned regularly to be with their father at his home in Castleknock.

Dr Ali Saleem, of the Islamic Cultural Centre in Dublin, said the family planned to reunite in Ireland after the children finished their education.

Meanwhile, police in Leicester said the victim of the Kent Street murder has not yet been formally identified.

Three people were arrested yesterday in connection with the murder.  Two 19-year-old women were arrested in the Leicestershire area and a man, also 19, was arrested in London.

Keywords: fire, leicester