Schools pay tribute to pupils killed in Neasden house fire

Special assemblies taking place after six die on Saturday morning

Assemblies have taken place at the schools attended by the brothers and sisters who died in a house fire in Neasden on Saturday morning.

Hanin and Basma Kua, aged 14 and 13 respectively, perished alongside their 41-year-old mother Muna Elmufatish, nine-year-old sister Amal and brothers Mustafa, five and Yehya, two, after a fire ripped through their home in Sonia Gardens at around 1am.

Father Bassam, 51, and eldest daughter 16-year-old Nur managed to escape the inferno and are being treated for their injuries in hospital.

Nur is in a critical but stable condition and Mr Kua is stable.

This morning (Monday), devastated pupils at Crest Academy School, in Crest Road, Neasden, paid tribute to Hanin and Bama and the other members of their family.

Bev Bell, principal, said: “We have met with our students and had two assemblies. One with years seven, eight and nine and then one with year 10, 11 and the sixth form.

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“We said readings and celebrated the lives of the girls who died in the fire. It’s very sombre and quiet. We have a large community of girls here who are very upset. There are students who are not coping well at the moment. We have counsellors in and bereavement counsellors who will join us for this week.”

She added: “Our thoughts must go out to Nur and her father who are fighting for their lives and are the remaining members of this wonderful family in our school community.

“The girls were well known, loved and respected by all. We are so proud to have experienced their contribution to our lives within this academy. Both girls were bright, intelligent and well respected students. They were popular, caring and diligent.”Braintcroft Primary School in Warren Road, Neasden, where Amal and Mustafa attended, also held a special assembly.

Kim Beat, Braintcroft headteacher, said: Braintcroft staff and community have been deeply shocked by the tragic deaths of two of our children and their family members.

“Mustafa and Amal were delightful, happy children with a loving and supportive family.

“Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to their family and friends and their older sister and father who are still in a critical condition.”

Yesterday, more than 60 pupils from Crest Academy laid flowers at the scene of devastation.

Navin Shah, London Assembly member for Brent and Harrow and member of the London Fire Emergency Planning Authority, visited the scene on Saturday and returned yesterday to speak to the family’s neighbours.

He told the Times he was moved by the tributes paid to the family described by neighbours as ‘quiet, polite and lovely’.

He added: “Everyone is shocked and upset by this tragedy. One neighbour told me she was physically sick twice when she heard the news.

“I have been extremely moved by the local community’s reaction as they try to come to terms with such a tragic loss.”

The family are originally from Palestine and moved to the rented house two years ago.

The cause of the fire is under investigation but police have ruled out foul play.

Mr Shah has dismissed speculation that the fire could have been started by a faulty fridge.

He said: “That is just a rumour as the cause is still under investigation.

“It is very upsetting for friends and family to hear rumours that their deaths were caused by a faulty fridge. No one knows yet as the investigation is still taking place.”

A post mortem on the six family members who died is due to place at Northwick Park Hospital today (Monday).

Crest Academy has opened a book of condolences.

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