Brother and sister killed in fire named

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The Independent Online

A young brother and sister who died in a house fire were named by police today.

Alina Shah, 10, and her eight-year-old brother Aman were trapped on Tuesday in a fire in Bradford, West Yorkshire Police said.

Their mother, named locally as 30-year-old Irum Shah, is thought to have jumped from a window to escape and suffered "life-threatening" injuries in what firefighters called an "extremely severe fire".

A 21-year-old man was arrested in the early hours of Tuesday morning and quizzed by police in connection with the fire.

Neighbours described how they had to beat out the flames which engulfed Mrs Shah as she pleaded for someone to save her children.

People living in Hendford Drive said the blaze was extremely intense with flames darting from windows and the roof.

The children's uncle and a 19-year-old neighbour, Fazal Mohammed, smashed the windows to try to rescue the children, but were beaten back by the heat as other people tried to douse the fire with buckets of water.

Firefighters said the neighbours performed heroics but even officers wearing protective gear and breathing apparatus struggled against the intense heat.

Neighbour Zaiwab Maqsood, 17, said: "The flames were huge, they were coming out of the roof.

"We went to help her because she was screaming for help. We were patting her to put the flames out but she had been badly burned.

"I wrapped her in a towel because her clothes had been burnt. We picked her up because they had started to break the windows to try and get in.

"But she was screaming 'just save my kids, just save my kids'. She just kept screaming and screaming it over and over again."

Mrs Shah - whose children were pupils at nearby Byron Primary School - is being treated at Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield.

Neighbours also said the children's father lived at the house but was not at home when the fire broke out.

Many of the homes surrounding the house are boarded up awaiting demolition and people living nearby said the abandoned buildings have been plagued by arsonists in recent weeks.