Family of five killed in flat fire

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The Independent Online
A couple who died with their three young children in a blaze in their flat yesterday made desperate efforts to save the children's lives before they were overcome by smoke.

Shagahan and Rukshana Miah struggled through choking fumes in their second- floor flat as they tried to save their children, including a two-month- old baby girl. But they were overcome by the smoke, fumes and heat and died.

Firefighters found the body of Mr Miah, 41, in the hallway when they burst into the flat in Palmers Green, north London. Mrs Miah, 25, had managed to pick up her baby, Mary - who was born on Christmas Day - but both were found lying on the bedroom floor. The couple's eldest daughter, Mishkatath, 4, and their 17-month-old son Shamir, were still in their bed.

The fire began shortly before 7am yesterday in their home above the Dipali Indian restaurant where Mr Miah was a partner. Two tenants in the first- floor flat raised the alarm before smoke forced them to flee from the building.

A Fire Brigade spokesman said: "This is a terrible tragedy - it was shocking to find a family like this. A large part of the flat was destroyed. It was extremely arduous because of the smoke, fire and heat."

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