Fire woman made ‘brave’ rescue bid

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Published: Wednesday 10th June 2015 by The News Editor

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A grandmother who died in a house fire with her daughter and three grandchildren has been described as “immensely brave” after an inquest heard she opened the front door but went back upstairs to try to rescue the trapped youngsters.

Shabina Begum, 53, and her three grandchildren – Adyan Parwaiz Kayani, nine, his seven-year-old brother Amaan and their nine-week-old sister Minahil – died along with their aunt, Mrs Begum’s daughter, Anum Parwaiz, 20, after a blaze broke out at their home in Sheffield last year.

Giving evidence at the inquests in Sheffield today, another of Mrs Begum’s daughters, Sadaf Parwaiz, described how she and her mother unsuccessfully tried to fight the fire in the lounge of the terraced house in Wake Road, Nether Edge.

She said her mother opened the front door and had an opportunity to escape but she wanted to rescue the children.

Sheffield Coroner Chris Dorries said to her: “Your mother had the opportunity to escape from the house, didn’t she?

“But she was very brave, wasn’t she, and she went back upstairs?”

Mr Dorries also asked investigator Detective Constable Joe Hall about Mrs Begum’s actions and the police officer agreed she was “immensely brave”.

Ms Parwaiz told the inquest she noticed a “sparkle” in the lounge at the rear of the house when she came down to collect her mobile phone shortly after midnight.

She said it quickly developed into a fire after electrical equipment in the room exploded.

Firefighter Barry Ainsworth said it was the hottest domestic fire he had been to in his 25 years of service.

He described how he and colleague Chris Broomhead went up the burning stairs of the property in breathing apparatus.

They found Mrs Begum and Adyan on the landing and the boy’s aunt in a first floor bedroom.

The two youngest children were found in the attic, the coroner was told. Amaan was hiding under the bunk bed.

Fire investigator Andrew Strelczenie told the inquest at Sheffield’s Medico-Legal Centre that it was the largest loss of life South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue had had to deal with for a number of years and “it’s taken quite some time to get over it”.

The inquest is due to finish tomorrow.

Published: Wednesday 10th June 2015 by The News Editor

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