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Last Updated: Wednesday, 8 November 2006, 21:37 GMT
Tribute paid to 'talented' family
Adam Riaz
Adam paid tribute to his 'beautiful' mother and sisters
A teenager who lost his mother and four sisters in a house fire said his family was now at peace.

Caneze Riaz, 39, and children Sayrah, 16, Sophia, 12, Alicia, 10, and Hannah, aged three, died in their beds at the house in Accrington, Lancashire.

Adam Riaz, 17, paid tribute to his "beautiful, talented mother and sisters" as they were laid to rest.

Police believe the fire was started by the children's father Mohammed, who died after the blaze on 1 November.

Adam, who has leukaemia, avoided the tragedy because he was being treated in Manchester's Christie Hospital.

His mother had visited him only hours before her death.

The funeral cortege
Mohammed Riaz's body will be sent back to Pakistan for burial
Adam said: "I am sure that everyone will understand just how hard that has been for us as a family.

"The attendance here today and the 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."

A private service took place at Raza Jamia Mosque on Grimshaw Street.

The five coffins were driven to the mosque under police escort, and Caneze was taken in first followed by her children.

The caskets were draped in black and green cloth embellished with pink and gold decoration.

Floral tributes

A public funeral service was held at Accrington Cemetery later in the afternoon.

Five red roses were planted on the grave alongside floral tributes spelling the names of the Riaz children and "Mum" in white chrysanthemums.

Roads around the cemetery on Burnley Road were closed off to accommodate the mourners.

Detectives believe Mohammed Riaz, 49, locked all the doors in the house before starting several fires all over the house using accelerants.

He was named as the only suspect in the murder investigation but died in hospital before detectives could question him.

Sayrah, Alicia and Sophia Riaz (left to right)
Police believe the house was deliberately set on fire
His wife and daughters were all asleep in bed and were overcome by the smoke, dying in their beds in the blaze on 1 November.

Adam joined his uncle Barry Khanan, Caneze's brother, for the burial at the cemetery.

Hundreds of mourners also surrounded the burial plot high on a hillside above the town.

Lancashire Police are investigating the possibility that Mr and Mrs Riaz were having marriage problems.

Mrs Riaz was described as a bubbly and popular "pillar of the community" and had been extremely active in the local area.

The body of Mr Riaz will be returned to his native Pakistan for burial after it is released.

An inquest into all six deaths has been opened and adjourned until February.




VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Adam Riaz pays tribute to his mother and four sisters



SEE ALSO
Family fire deaths inquest opens
07 Nov 06 |  Lancashire
Father of house fire family dies
03 Nov 06 |  Lancashire
Fire deaths police probe marriage
02 Nov 06 |  Lancashire
Fire death family killed by smoke
02 Nov 06 |  Lancashire
Town mourns fire tragedy deaths
01 Nov 06 |  Lancashire
Murder probe as five die in fire
01 Nov 06 |  Lancashire

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