Harlow fire deaths: Winchester school pays tribute

Sabah Usmani and her children who died in house fire in Harlow
Image caption School friends of the four children who died will be offered counselling

Tributes have been paid to four children who died in the Harlow house fire, at the Hampshire school where they were former pupils.

A book of memories has been opened for the Shakoors, who attended Stanmore Primary School in Winchester

They were killed along with their mother in a suspected arson attack on their home in Barn Mead, Harlow, early on Monday.

Julie Reed who taught Muneeb, one of the victims, said "he was a little ball of sunshine."

'Special boy'

She said her reaction to the news of his death, along with those of brothers Sohaib, 11, and Rayyan, six, and sister Hira, 12, was simply "disbelief".

"Every day [Muneeb] had a smile on his face and something happy to tell you so we nick-named him Smiley Jim," Mrs Reed said.

"I'll look back and think how lucky I was to have him in my class and to have spent that time with such a special little boy."

Image caption Teacher, Julie Reed described the Shakoor's as "a loving, wonderful family".

The Shakoor's moved from Winchester where their father, Dr Abdul Shakoor, had been working as a doctor about a year ago to live in Harlow.

School friends of the four children who died will be offered counselling to help them come to terms with the tragedy.

Three-year-old Maheen remains in a critical condition. She is being treated at the specialist burns unit at Broomfield Hospital, Chelmsford, Essex, following the attack.

Dr Shakoor, the only other survivor, has been transferred to the hospital to be closer to his daughter.

The exact cause of the blaze is still unknown and forensic tests are continuing at the scene.

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