THE scale of the tragedy visited upon a normally quiet and peaceful corner of Sheffield left a palpable sense of shock hanging in the warm spring air yesterday.
Many either knew or knew of the family left devastated by the loss of five lives, spread across three generations.
The man behind the counter at the local corner shop recognised nine-year-old Adhyan Parwaiz Kayani, who had popped in at the weekend to buy sweets as he often did.
“It’s just shocking really,” was the simple but heartfelt reaction.
“He came into the shop to buy sweets, sometimes with his dad. It’s very sad, I feel very affected.”
The word “shock” was first on the lips of other local people milling around Wake Road, a straight line of terrace houses running 250 yards and housing a mixed population of Asian, white and black people in an area of Nether Edge rarely associated with bad news.
One neighbour who lived just a few doors down from the fire recollected the events of the night and how people had come out not only to see what was happening but also to show support for the family.
The woman, who did not wish to be named, said: “I smelt smoke when I woke up about 12.45am and I initially thought my house is on fire or my immediate neighbour’s was.
“I could smell the smoke but when I went downstairs there was no smoke in stairwell.
“My first thought was to look out of the window to check everything was alright, to see what was going on and was there anything I could do to help. I went outside and initially there weren’t many people there but more and more people woke up the longer it went on and came out – they were obviously concerned neighbours.”
She added: “I saw the lad who used to live next door –- he had turned up thinking it was his family’s house on fire.
“He knew the family that lived in the house.
“At that time – around 1am or 1.10am – we were already aware there were deaths.
“There were people there last night not just watching but who wanted to support the family and that is nice to know about this neighbourhood.
“We don’t know each other by name but we do know each other to say hello – but it actually it doesn’t matter whether you know them or not, it’s just a horrible thing to happen to anyone.
“It’s a lesson in how fragile life is.”