A RELATIVE of two boys killed in a fire described them as beautiful, happy boys.
Nasreen Akhtar lives next door to the boy’s mother, Nazia Akhtar, in Thornton Lodge.
She saw the moment Nazia fought to rescue them from the blaze.
Junaid, two, and Sohail, four, both died after the blaze at their home on Rashcliffe Hill Road early on Wednesday afternoon.
Nazia’s two other sons were at school at the time of the tragedy.
Nasreen, 35, said they were a close family who had been completely devastated by the tragedy.
“Nazia is such a great mother,’’ she said. “Her boys are so beautiful and brilliant to be around.
“They were gorgeous kids and very happy and playful too – they’d always be playing with my kids.
“It’s such a loss for us all. We can’t really understand it at the moment.”
Nasreen had just returned from a driving lesson when she saw Nazia, who is eight-months pregnant, in the garden of her home trying to reach her sons.
She added: “I saw her in the garden screaming. She just wanted to get her boys.
“She told me her children were upstairs in the back bedroom and we saw that one of the builders who was working down the road was trying to get to them at the back window.
“I think she did everything she could.
“We thought they would be OK when they were taken to hospital, but after five minutes they died.
“Nazia is in shock. We all are trying to understand why it happened.
“She is pregnant, but they checked her and she is OK.”
Nazia was downstairs with a friend at the time of the fire while her sons were both upstairs.
She was alerted when builders noticed smoke coming from the window.
Karl Deacon, one of the builders who tried to rescue the youngsters, told of his trauma at not being able to save them.
“We did our best, we just hoped that there was just enough time to save even one of them but obviously – tragically – we could only do what we could do.
“We used a ladder to get in through a window.
“We could see about a foot into the bedroom and we could see the cot and everything on fire.
“We got the door open to the bedroom and we came into it with the fire extinguisher, but the kids had stopped crying by then.
“It’s two little kids at the end of the day. We did our best, we just hoped that we could save them.”
Clr Mohammed Sarwar and Kirklees Council leader Clr Mehboob Khan visited the family after the fire.
Clr Sarwar said: “They are a very close family and will pull together at this time.
An inquest is expected to open early next week.
THE inferno which claimed the lives of two young brothers may have been started by one of the tots.
Fire investigators have ruled out suspicious circumstance.
They are now looking into the possibility that the fire in the bedroom at their home on Rashcliffe Hill Road in Thornton Lodge may have been started by one of the boys.
The tragedy killed four-year-old Sohail Akhtar and his two-year-old brother, Junaid, leaving their heavily pregnant mum, Nazia, and the rest of the family in deep shock and grief.
Group manager Chris Hellas, district manager for West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, revealed that the investigation by fire and forensics experts alongside the police was now focussing on the tragic youngsters themselves.
He confirmed: “The main thrust of the investigation is now looking at the children playing with fire.
“We are investigating the possibility the fire was started deliberately by the children.’’
He said there was evidence of fire-lighting equipment at the scene, adding: “It is not being treated as suspicious and it appears it was an accident. In relation to the exact circumstances, we are trying to establish what caused it.
“They are young children and tragically that may have been a factor.”
The boys were taken by ambulance to Huddersfield Royal Infirmary where they died from their injuries.
Mr Hellas added: “If families have children who are displaying this type of behaviour we have specially-trained staff to provide support and education to get them out of it.’’
Firefighters are today continuing to tour the area offering free home safety checks to people living in the Folly Hall and Thornton Lodge areas, including fitting free smoke detectors.
West Yorkshire Fire And Rescue Service has been one of the most proactive in the country on fire prevention and do more than 10,000 free home safety risk assessments every year.
It means that serious house fires such as Wednesday’s terrible tragedy have become rarer and rarer in recent times.
“All newly-built houses now have smoke detectors already wired in,’’ said Mr Hellas. “On our safety assessments we look at every person and each house individually.’’
To arrange a free safety check phone the fire service free on 0800 5874536.
“It could not be simpler,’’ said Mr Hellas. “Phone us and we will come to you.”
Kirklees Council has also led the way on fire safety. It was the first local authority in the UK to fit and maintain smoke alarms in all their properties – over 30,000 homes by 1998.
Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing has also installed additional fire safety measures in higher risk properties such as sheltered housing and high-rise blocks of flats. These are monitored round the clock and automatically alert firefighters if an alarm is activated. There is also emergency lighting and fire doors.
KNH is just completing a programme to install sprinkler systems in all sheltered housing complexes and has installed special fire doors that are easier for older people or those with mobility problems to open.