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Four in court over fatal house fire

Four men will go on trial today over a fatal house fire which killed a mother and father, leaving their three children orphaned.

Mosque teacher Abdullah Mohammed, 41, and his wife Aysha, 39, died after the arson attack on their home in Blackburn, Lancashire, last October.

Hisamuddin Ibrahim, 20, Mohammed Miah, 19, Habib Iqbal, 25, and Sadek Miah, 23, all from London, are all charged with two counts of murder and arson with intent to endanger life.

Mr Mohammed - a well-respected community figure - called the emergency services to his London Road home at 1.23am on October 21 last year, after being woken by a ferocious blaze.

He was found unconscious in his bedroom, along with his wife and two of their three children.

The family was taken to the Royal Blackburn hospital, but Mr Mohammed was later pronounced dead from smoke inhalation.

His wife fell into a coma and died a week later.

Their two children, who cannot be named for legal reasons, both survived, while their other child was not staying at the family house that evening.

The trial, at Preston Crown Court, is expected to last for four weeks.