Harlow fire deaths: Cause unknown a year after family killed

Sabah Usmani and her children who died in house fire in Harlow
Image caption Someone in the "Harlow community" knows who is responsible, police believe

A year after a house fire killed an Essex doctor's family, the cause of the blaze is still unknown.

Dr Abdul Shakoor survived the fire at the family home in Barn Mead, Harlow, on 15 October last year, but his wife and five children died.

Essex Police said the fire in the lounge was still subject to forensic investigation, but the exact cause had not been identified.

Detectives said they had taken about 1,500 statements.

Dr Shakoor's wife Dr Sabah Usmani and their children, Hira, 12, Sohaib, 11, Muneeb, nine, Rayyan, six, and three-year-old Maheen, died as a result of the fire.

Police said a burnt-out car found nearby may be linked and they have yet to trace the family's black Toshiba Satellite laptop computer which was taken from the home.

'Unimaginable tragedy'

Det Supt Rob Vinson said: "I believe that someone within the Harlow community knows who is responsible for the burglary and arson.

"One year on I ask them to give serious thought to telling someone what they know.

"Dr Shakoor is a private, dignified man who has had to cope with the most unimaginable tragedy of losing his entire family.

"He is suffering every day and for his sake I urge you to make contact."

Police said a £10,000 reward was on offer for information leading to a conviction.

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