Teenager lays ‘beautiful’ family to rest

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A 17-year-old teenager orphaned after his father, mother and four younger sisters were killed in an arson attack on their family home has paid tribute to his “beautiful” family.

Adam Riaz, 17, spoke publicly for the first time since he was hit with the tragedy following the deaths of his father Mohammed Riaz, 49, mother Caneze Riaz, 39, younger sisters Sayrah, 16, Sophia, 15, Alicia, 10 and three-year-old Hannah.

He was in hospital at the time of the blaze undergoing treatment for leukaemia.

Speaking moments after burying his mother and sisters at an Accrington cemetery, the heartbroken teenager (pictured right) paid tribute to his family.

“We have just said farewell to my beautiful, talented mother and sisters, and I am sure everyone will understand just how hard that has been for us as a family”, he said standing beside his uncle Barry Khanan.

“The attendance here today and thousands of messages of sympathy and support we have received in the past week show the world just how many hearts were touched by my mum and sisters during their lives – and we will always be grateful for that.

“They are at peace now and we can only ask that we, the family, are also given the time and peace we now so desperately need in order to grieve together in private.”

He made no reference to his father, Mohammed Riaz, who police believe started the fire. Detectives had named him as their “top line of enquiry” after he was rescued from the burning house.

He underwent treatment at hospital for 50% burns but died three days after the tragedy.

His body is expected to be flown out to Pakistan for burial in the next week.

Hundreds of mourners stood outside the Raza Jamia mosque in Accrington as the bodies of Mrs Riaz and her four daughters were carried inside.

Shortly after the service, five hearses carrying the coffins drove to the towns’ cemetery where they were buried side-by-side.

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