Hundreds mourn fire victims

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HUNDREDS of mourners gathered today for the funeral of Caneze Riaz and her four daughters who were killed in a house fire.

Mrs Riaz, 39, and her daughters Sayrah, 16, Sophia, 15, Alicia, 10, and three-year-old Hannah, all died in the blaze at the family home in Tremellen Street, last Wednesday.

The five caskets were driven under police escort to Raza Jamia Mosque, in Grimshaw Street, Accrington, as people lined the streets to pay their respects.

Later in the afternoon the burial was conducted at Accrington Cemetery.

The last surviving member of the Riaz family, Adam, 17, joined his uncle Barry Khanan, Caneze's brother, for the burial at the cemetery in Burnley Road.

After the burial, Adam, who has leukaemia and was being treated at The Christie Hospital, Manchester, on the night of the fire, read a statement.

He said: "We have just said farewell to my beautiful, talented mother and sisters and I am sure everyone will understand just how hard that has been for us as a family.

"The attendance here today and thousands of messages of sympathy and support we have received in the past week show the world just how many hearts were touched by my mum and sisters during their lives - and we will always be grateful for that.

"They are at peace now and we can only ask that we, the family, are also given the time and peace we now so desperately need in order to grieve together in private."

Mrs Riaz's wife Mohammed, who is the prime suspect for the fire, died last week from his injuries.

His funeral is to take place at a later date in Pakistan.

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