Father of little girls, one and three, killed in arson attack says he ‘is trying to come to terms with what has happened’ as his wife, 28, dies two days after fire
- Fatoumatta Hydara was rushed to hospital in a critical condition after the blaze
- She was placed on a life support machine but died this morning, police said
- Her two daughters died shortly after arriving at hospital on Sunday morning
- Husband Aboubacarr Drammeh, 40, raced back to UK from US to see his wife
A father of two little girls – aged one and three – who died in an arson attack has said he is ‘trying to come to terms with what has happened’ as his wife died today.
Father and husband Aboubacarr Drammeh, 40, raced back to the UK from America yesterday after his two daughters died in the blaze in Clifton, Nottingham.
Their mother Fatoumatta Hydara, 28, was rushed to hospital after a fire broke out at her first-floor flat at around 3am on Sunday.
Mr Drammeh, who arrived at the scene at around midday yesterday after flying back from the US, told the Times: ‘I am just grieving. I have come straight here from the airport and now I am going to the hospital to see my wife. I don’t know what has happened here.
‘This is just so upsetting. I haven’t started to come to terms with what has happened.’
A source told Sky News Mr Drammeh had raced back ‘to be by his wife’s bedside’.
She was left critically injured by the horror blaze and placed on life support at the Queen’s Medical Centre but she died this morning – two days after her daughters.
Her two girls, one-year-old Naeemah and Fatimah Drammeh, three, were taken to the same hospital but they tragically died shortly after arriving.
Fatoumatta Hydara was killed in the fire along with her two young children Naeemah Drammeh, aged one, and Fatimah Drammeh, aged three
Flowers left at the scene of the fatal fire in Clifton, Nottingham, after the blaze on Sunday
Heartwrenching footage was released by police today showing the two girls happily playing and giggling together before the horror blaze.
A police and fire investigation concluded the fire was started deliberately and Nottinghamshire Police has launched a triple murder investigation. A 31-year-old man, also from Clifton, was arrested on suspicion of murder on Sunday and police have been given additional time to question him.
Detective Chief Inspector Mark Sinski, who is leading the investigation, said: ‘We are dealing with one of the most horrendous crimes – the death of two young children and their mother.
‘This is a deeply upsetting tragedy and I can only imagine the family’s pain. They include the woman’s husband and the father of the two children, who was not in the UK at the time of the fire.
‘Both he and other members of the family are being supported by specially-trained officers at this incredibly difficult time and we ask for the media to give them privacy while they deal with this incredible loss.
‘This has been an extremely traumatic event for them, and I’d like to reassure them we’re doing everything we possibly can to bring them the justice they deserve.
‘To achieve this, a large team of detectives has been working long days and nights to investigate the circumstances surrounding this tragic incident.
‘A number of specialists have also been examining the scene and this is likely to continue for some time. This is now being treated as a triple homicide.’
The first-floor fire killed the mother and her two young children, aged one and three, and is believed to have been started deliberately
Forensic experts were sifting through the wreckage of the council home in Fairisle Close on Sunday morning
Police have said that high visibility patrols will be based in the area over the coming days to offer reassurance to local residents.
DI Sinski added: ‘The local community has been shocked and deeply saddened by the events of the past two days and I want to thank those living in the area for the patience and understanding while we gather evidence at the scene.
‘I also want to thank those who have already come forward, but I would urge anyone with any information, regardless of how insignificant you think it may be, to contact us.
‘We would specifically like to speak to anyone who was in or around Fairisle Close between between 12am and 4.30am on Sunday morning.’
Rob Perkins, headteacher at The Milford Academy in Clifton where Fatimah attended the nursery, paid a touching tribute to her.
He said: ‘Our whole school community was incredibly shocked and saddened to hear about the tragic events that took place in the early hours of Sunday morning.
‘We are just beginning the painful process of coming to terms with what has happened and the heartbreaking realisation that two young children and a mother have lost their lives.
‘We now know that one of these children was a pupil here at Milford and our thoughts are with the family and all of those affected by this awful event.
‘Fatimah was a kind, joyful and determined member of our nursery. Her sunny personality ensured she made friends wherever she went, and she loved a cuddle.
‘Fatimah was at her happiest with a paintbrush and glue stick in her hands, creating her next masterpiece.
‘Her contagious laugh could be heard by all as she scooted around the garden on the three-seated bike – she loved the outdoors.
‘Our nursery won’t be the same without her and she will be dearly missed by all of us.’
Friends laid flowers at the scene yesterday where the fatal fire took place in the early hours of Sunday morning
Police have reassured neighbours that high-visibility patrols would continue in the area in the coming days and appealed to witnesses for information
Friends laid flowers at the scene where the fatal fire took place on Sunday.
One family friend, a tearful woman laying flowers at their home, wept: ‘It is heartbreaking. They are such a lovely family.’
She added: ‘I can’t think of anything worse to happen particularly at this time of year just before Christmas. It really is horrendous, your worst nightmare.’
Forensic experts with sniffer dogs were sifting through the wreckage of the council home on Sunday morning.
Debris was clearly visible through the top broken window and the gutted flat below.
Neighbours in the adjoining flats were evacuated as the crime scene remained cordoned off.