Harlow fire deaths: Crimewatch appeal brings new information

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionA reconstruction of events leading up to the fire has been shown on the BBC's Crimewatch

A BBC Crimewatch reconstruction of an arson attack which killed a woman and five children has led to new information about a missing computer.

Dr Abdul Shakoor's wife Sabah Usmani, sons Muneeb, nine, and Rayyan, six, and daughter Hira, 12, died in an attack on their home in Barn Mead, Harlow.

Son Sohaib, 11, and daughter Maheen, three, died in hospital.

A laptop was stolen on the night of the fire and the reconstruction has brought new information about it, police said.

Officers, who said they were pleased with the response, are treating the deaths of the family members last October as murder.

'Why my family?'

They are now following up more than 25 calls received from the programme, when Dr Shakoor made an emotional appeal.

He said: "I want the answer: why my family? Why has somebody done that to ruin my life?"

Police believe the fire was started deliberately by burglars and said the investigation, one of the largest carried out by Essex Police, would continue until "those responsible were brought to justice".

The blaze started downstairs while the family were asleep upstairs. Dr Shakoor's black Toshiba Satellite laptop was stolen by burglars. Police have not revealed what information they have about it.

Dr Shakoor jumped from a bedroom window in an attempt to get help for his family, but was unable to save them.

Police are still trying to track down a teenager seen nearby on a bike so he can be eliminated from their inquiries.

Anyone with information is still being urged to contact police or Crimestoppers anonymously.

Crimewatch will remain available to view on the iPlayer until 20:00 GMT on Thursday and on the programme website.

More on this story

Around the BBC

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites