Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 17°C

min temp: 13°C


Harlow: Appeal for information of fatal house fire to feature on BBC’s Crimewatch

08:31 21 November 2012

Dr Abdul Shakoor (front row, right) follows the funeral cortege of his wife Sabah Usmani and five children - Hira, 12, Sohaib, 11, Muneeb, nine, Rayyan, six, and Maheen, three - who died during a fire at there home in Barn Mead, Harlow

Dr Abdul Shakoor (front row, right) follows the funeral cortege of his wife Sabah Usmani and five children - Hira, 12, Sohaib, 11, Muneeb, nine, Rayyan, six, and Maheen, three - who died during a fire at there home in Barn Mead, Harlow

AN investigation into a house fire which killed six members of the Shakoor family in Harlow is set to feature on the BBC programme Crimewatch this evening.


Senior Investigating Officer Rob Vinson will be appealing to the public for information to help find answers to how and why the fatal fire in Barn Mead happened.

Dr Abdul Shakoor was the only survivor of the fierce fire that started in the lounge of the family home in the early hours of October 15.

His wife, 44 year-old Dr Sabah Usmani, daughter Hira, 12, and sons Muneeb, 9 and six-year old Rayyan sadly died at the scene.

Another son, 11-year-old Sohaib, died a short time after arrival at hospital.

Three-year-old Maheen was taken with her father to hospital. He was suffering smoke inhalation and burns after he battled to save his family. She was later transferred to the specialist burns unit at Broomfield Hospital, Chelmsford were sadly she died a few days before her fourth birthday.

Detectives now know that there was a burglary at the house on the evening/morning of the fire and will be appealing for anyone who was in the area at the time to come forward.

Det Supt Vinson will also appeal for information about the family’s laptop – a black Toshiba Satellite that is missing and about the laptop bag and two pin lead that were found abandoned in the Whitewaits area of Harlow 11 days later.

A further appeal is for information about the arson of a neighbour’s Ford Focus car that was found alight 20 metres away by the firefighters arriving to tackle the house fire.

Anyone with any information should contact the Operation Shakespeare investigation team on 01277 266869, or via Crimestoppers where information can be given anonymously on 0800 555 111, and you may be eligible for a reward of up to £10,000.



Terry Kidgell is staging a star-studded show at the Ipswich Regent on Monday, October 12, in aid of Macmillan after he was diagnosed with terminal bowl cancer. One of those appearing will be his niece Robyn Mellor, currently starring on London's West End. The other will be America’s Got Talent 2015 winner Paul Zerdin.
Terry with his niece Robyn.

What would you do if you were told you had just months to live? For Terry Kidgell, diagnosed with terminal bowel cancer in August, the answer was simple – throw a charity gala in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.

A broken down train between Diss and Norwich caused the disruption

Save the Duke Share Launch, led by campaigners Sarah Caston and Lucy Batchelor-Wylam

A community campaign launched at the end of August to save a village’s pub has raised more than 40% of the money it needs.

Police are appealing for witnesses after a fail to stop collision on the A14 at Nacton.

Alcohol was repeatedly sold to underage drinkers in Ipswich

An Ipswich man has pleaded guilty to selling alcohol to children from his shop.

The homeless in Ipswich tuck in to a hot meal at the Ipswich Winter Night Shelter. Photograph Simon Parker

The Ipswich Winter Night Shelter has launched a drive for volunteers ahead of opening its doors on December 2.

Paul Clement, chief executive of Ipswich Central

A major conference aimed at pushing ahead with dramatic changes to Ipswich town centre is to be held at the end of this month.

Motorists were sent on a diversion nearly 30miles (47.7km) long

We all bemoan the diversions which close the highways and byways of Suffolk when roadworks are set up.

The Northgate High School team competing at a regional heat in Ford Dunton

Northgate High School pupils are preparing for a grand prix experience as they compete in the finals of the Greenpower International Kit Car competition.

Work is being stepped up at hospitals in Suffolk and north Essex to deal with “bed blocking” after new figures revealed more than 38,000 “bed days” have been lost because of the issue since 2012.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages