Mother and her five children killed in Neasden house fire laid to rest
More than 500 mourners pay their final respects
More than 500 mourners paid their final respects to a mother and her five children who died in a house fire in Neasden on Saturday.
The funeral of Muna Elmufatish, 41, her daughters Hanin, 14, Basma, 13, Amal, nine, and sons Mustafa, five and two-year-old Yehya Kua, took place today (Wednesday) at The Garden Of Peace Cemetery in Ilford, Essex.
All six died when a blaze swept thorough their semi-detached home in Sonia Gardens, just before 1am.
Father Bassam Kua, 51, and eldest daughter 16-year-old Nur managed to escape the inferno.
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Nur suffered severe burns and is in a critical condition in hospital.
Mr Kua who was also in hospital was discharged this morning so he could bid a sad farewell to his wife and five children.
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His arms were bandaged and the burns he sustained on his face were visible.
Mourners included former teachers of the children, firefighters and pupils from Crest Academy in Crest Road, Neasden, where Hanin and Basma attended and Nur was an ex-student.
Eva Faraj, 16, who went to school with Nur, said: “They were innocent. They never harmed anybody.”
Tearful Nush Amin, 29, lived opposite the family when they lived in Paddock Road, Neasden, she said: “I can still see them standing across the road waiving and smiling at us.
“It’s too much to take in.”
Mourners carried each coffin from their individual hearses into an open space where they were placed side-by-side.
During the three hour service, conducted by an Imam, mourners said prayers before the coffins were carried over a bridge to the cemetery where a private burial took place.
Martin Francis, a governor at Braintcroft Primary School in Warren Road, Neasden, where Amal and Mustafa were pupils, was among the mourners.
He said: “The most poignant thing was seeing the different size coffins and what they represented as a family.
“Moving from one funeral to another was just a blow after blow. To see the graves filled in and think what promising future lives that had been cut short.
“It was devastating.”
Mohamed Omer, cemetery manager, told the Times it was the first time he had to deal with such a tragedy.
He said: “It had been a traumatic affair. To bury six people is not easy especially a two-year-old in the presence of his father.
“Bassam was very strong and this shows how strong his faith is.
“We must all pray to give him strength to overcome this tragedy and his eldest daughter as well.”
Fire investigators believe that a chest freezer in the hallway at the bottom of the stairs may have caused the fire which is the worst house blaze in London in over a decade.
A post mortem revealed all six died from smoke inhalation.
An inquest at Barnet Coroner’s Court has opened and been adjourned until February 16.