Harlow: £10,000 Reward Following Fatal Fire

Crimestoppers is issuing a reward of up to £10,000 following a fire which killed six members of the same family in Harlow.

The incident happened at the family home of Dr Shakoor in Barn Mead, in the early hours of Monday October 15th.

Emergency services fought to save his family but Sabah, his 44-year-old wife and a qualified doctor, his daughter Hira, 12, and his sons Sohaib, 11, Muneeb, nine and Rayyan, six, died that day.

His daughter Maheen, three, was taken to hospital in a critical condition, but later died just days before her fourth birthday.

The cause of the fire is yet to be established.

A Ford Focus car was also set alight a short distance away from the house in a car park but it is not connected to the family involved in the house fire. The car fire is being treated as arson.

Ann Scott, Eastern Regional Manager for Crimestoppers, said: "This is an absolutely heartbreaking incident which has devastated and shocked the entire community. It is impossible to imagine how Dr Shakoor, who survived the fire, is coping with the loss of his family.

"Please come forward to the independent charity Crimestoppers so this truly awful crime can be solved. You have nothing to fear by contacting Crimestoppers with information. We never ask for your name or take any personal details. We do not trace your call or IP address and we do not record your call.

"You won't have to give a statement, speak to the Police or go to court . We only want to know what you know, not who you are. In the 24 years that Crimestoppers has been running we have never broken our promise of anonymity so nobody will know you contacted us. We will pass that information onto the Police for you."

Information is particularly wanted on a group of four young men who were outside the house in the early hours of October 15. They are described as aged between 16 and 19 and wearing tracksuits and baseball caps.

There were also two others on bikes. The first is described as 15 to 18 with ginger or light brown hair. He was wearing black jogging bottoms with stripes down the legs, a hip-length anorak style jacket with a hood and was riding a light coloured bike. The second was riding a black mountain bike, is described as 16 to 18 and was wearing a light grey top.

Detectives now believe there may have been a burglary at the home after the family had gone to bed and before the fire was discovered.

A laptop bag containing personal items belonging to Dr Shakoor was found abandoned near lock up garages in Whitewaits, Harlow, on Friday October 26.

It is thought that the laptop may have been stolen in the burglary. The black Toshiba laptop has a two pin connection that was used with an adaptor.

Enquiries have also revealed that during the evening of the fatal fire, there were two unsuccessful attempts to break into other properties in Harlow. How these incidents relate to the fire investigation is being considered.