SHOCK. Disbelief. Anger.
Any number of emotions bubbled to the surface as the full horror emerged.
Hundreds of people made their way to the scene in Osborne Road, pressing against the blue and white police tapes cordoning off a quiet cul de sac on that Sunday morning.
And their reaction when they heard that seven members of a family had been killed and an eighth was fighting for life in hospital was all too evident.
Many, young and old, men and women, wept openly. Others were immediately angry, shouting and demanding answers.
The victims who died happened to be an Asian family, a family who had made their home in Osborne Road 13 years earlier.
Abdul Aziz Chishti, 59, was a highly-respected man, known to many hundreds of people.
He had taught many of the local residents and their children at mosques in the area and many had visited his home for lessons in Urdu.
Many others knew his sons - Hamid, Majid, Shafiq and Ateeq - and had grown up with them through schooldays and university days.
But it was not a tragedy that was felt only in the Asian community. Many of those who turned out that Sunday morning in May last year, or who expressed their sympathies in the weeks and months to come, were black or white.
Few had known the family; they simply wanted to share the grief.
St John's Church sits just 150 yards from the arson-hit home, and as the big fire and police inquiry swung into top gear churchgoers completed their Sunday service and stayed on to prepare cups of tea for all those involved.
The church was also to play a pivotal role in another way, hosting a memorial service for the victims just days after the fire and another on the first anniversary, 12 months later.
More than 500 people crammed into the church on that first date to hear the Vicar of St John's, the Rev Martin Lowles, say it was a service for all, no matter what faith, what age, what colour or creed.
And Mr Lowles added: "The fire affected so many people. It affected all those who live around here in the streets of Birkby and we want to express our solidarity with the family in our midst who have lost so much.
"It affected the people at the schools, where the young girls had such happy times.
"And it affected the Roman Catholics, the Baptists, the Methodists and those who have no faith," said Mr Lowles.
"Eight lives were lost and each one was a light that has now gone out. It is a tragedy that has plunged one family into entire blackness, but all the lights in Birkby, in Huddersfield, were dimmed."
Twelve months later and the feelings were no less intense.
Mr Lowles again led a service attended by 300 people, including Mr Chishti and Mr Rab Nawaz Khan, father of the five little girls who died.
Mr Lowles said the past year had shown Huddersfield at its best, with people supporting and comforting each other through terrible times.
"The shock and disbelief about what happened is still there," he said. "But so many people have worked so hard to build up this community, not only in Birkby but across the whole town.
"Again tonight, we light eight candles to remember those who have died. They are a symbol that no matter how dark the evil that has been inflicted on us, they can never extinguish the light of the love for this family."
Both those services were moving, but the real depth of feeling towards the family in their darkest hour was best demonstrated on a summer Saturday in July last year
The McAlpine Stadium in Huddersfield has seen many dramatic occasions, with great sporting events and hugely successful rock concerts.
But few sights could have been as moving and poignant as that of eight coffins - five of them for children - being wheeled into the arena for the funeral service. The coffins, garlanded with flowers, had made their way to the stadium in a fleet of hearses from Osborne Road, past streets lined with wellwishers.
Much of the special service was conducted for the Muslim faith, but large sections were in English, to demonstrate the spread of community feeling.
Local councillor Mehboob Khan was a prime mover behind the event.
He said: "Kevin Collinge, the chief executive of the stadium, and I organised the multi-faith funeral service for the eight victims.
"The chosen venue was ideal and about 8,000 people attended the service. Thousands of people, irrespective of religion or skin colour, paid their last respects to the victims. This huge event was well organised and I have praise for stadium and council employees and volunteers who helped to organise this service."
After the moving service, at which Mr Chishti thanked the people of Huddersfield for their support, the coffins were taken to Manchester Airport.
From there, they were flown out to Pakistan for a Muslim burial in the family's home village.
Up to 5,000 people turned out in Mal Awan, watching as the victims were laid to rest in a special plot set aside for them, marked with white marble headstones.
And they paid their respects to the survivors during the 40 days of mourning that followed, before the funeral rites were completed with special prayers and celebrations.