Father of family killed in house fire dies from burns

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The Independent Online

By Ian Herbert

A man suspected of causing a fire which killed his wife and four daughters has died in hospital from injuries suffered in the blaze.

Mohammed Riaz - described by Lancashire police as the only suspect in their investigation into the deaths of Caneze Riaz, 39, and her daughters Sayrah, 16, Sophia, 15, Alicia, 10, and Hannah, three - died in Wythenshawe Hospital, Manchester. He was being treated for 50 per cent burns to his body, suffered before he was dragged from the family home in Accrington, Lancashire, on Tuesday evening.

Friends of the couple said Mr and Mrs Riaz, who had an arranged marriage 20 years ago, might have been having marital problems, with Mrs Riaz growing apart from her husband, a strict adherent to Islam. She left Mr Riaz at the family home to go out with another Asian man on Tuesday evening. They had visited her son Adam, 17, who is being treated in hospital for leukaemia, before the two had dinner in Manchester. After her friend dropped her off at home, the house was locked up and set alight from the inside with the use of accelerants.

Police have not discounted a theory that the murders constituted an "honour killing" by Mr Riaz because he believed his wife had brought shame upon the family.

Mr Riaz worked in a plastic factory and was 10 years older than his wife. He had arrived in Britain from Attock, in Pakistan, where he grew up. He has been described by neighbours as a "good family man".