Heartbroken father of two girls killed in flat fire ‘hasn’t started to come to terms’ with tragedy

Heartbroken father of two girls, one and three, killed in flat fire says he ‘hasn’t started to come to terms’ with tragedy – as police quiz 31-year-old man on suspicion of murder

  • Aboubacarr Drammeh, 40, was overcome with grief as he arrived back in the UK
  • Was on his way to see his wife, named locally as Fatoumatta Hydara, 28, who was critically injured in horror blaze which killed their two children, one and three
  • A man from Clifton, Nottingham was arrested yesterday on suspicion of murder

The father of two young children killed in a flat fire yesterday has spoken of his devastation as he tries to ‘come to terms with what has happened’, while police question a 31-year-old on suspicion of murder. 

Aboubacarr Drammeh, 40, said he was overcome with grief as he arrived back in the UK yesterday and rushed to hospital to see his wife, named locally as Fatoumatta Hydara, 28, who was left critically injured by the horror blaze which killed the couple’s two girls, aged one and three.

A 31-year-old man from Clifton, on the outskirts of Nottingham, was arrested on suspicion of murder and attempted murder yesterday after a joint police and fire investigation concluded that the first-floor blaze was started deliberately.

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.’

The father of two young children killed in a flat fire yesterday has spoken of his devastation as he tries to 'come to terms with what has happened'. Pictured: flowers left at the scene of the fatal fire in Clifton, near Nottingham

The father of two young children killed in a flat fire yesterday has spoken of his devastation as he tries to ‘come to terms with what has happened’. Pictured: flowers left at the scene of the fatal fire in Clifton, near Nottingham

The first-floor blaze killed the couple's two young children, aged one and three, and left their mother critically injured

The first-floor blaze killed the couple’s two young children, aged one and three, and left their mother critically injured

Inspector Karl Thomas, of Nottinghamshire Police, confirmed that the adult in the fire was the dead girls’ mother.

He also reassured neighbours that high-visibility patrols would continue in the area in the coming days and appealed to witnesses for information. 

Yesterday, friends laid flowers at the scene where the fatal fire took place. One family friend said Ms Hydara, who is fighting for her life in intensive care, is unaware that the blaze killed her two young daughters.

The tearful woman, laying flowers at their home which was deliberately set on fire, wept: ‘It is heartbreaking. They are such a lovely family.

‘The mum is not very well at all, she is in a really bad way and we’ve heard she has not been told of the loss of her two little girls.

‘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 were sifting through the wreckage of the council home in Fairisle Close yesterday morning

Forensic experts were sifting through the wreckage of the council home in Fairisle Close yesterday morning

The two girls were pulled alive from the raging inferno at their first-floor flat in Clifton in the early hours of yesterday morning.

But despise desperate attempts by medics the youngsters, who had suffered smoke inhalation, sadly died later in hospital.

Forensic experts with sniffer dogs were sifting through the wreckage of the council home in Fairisle Close yesterday morning.

Debris was clearly visible through the top broken window and the gutted flat below.

Neighbours in the adjoining flats have been evacuated and the crime scene remains cordoned off.

Yesterday, friends laid flowers at the scene where the fatal fire took place. One family friend said Ms Hydara, who is fighting for her life in intensive care, is unaware that the blaze killed her two young daughters

Yesterday, friends laid flowers at the scene where the fatal fire took place. One family friend said Ms Hydara, who is fighting for her life in intensive care, is unaware that the blaze killed her two young daughters

Two well wishers, who didn’t know the family, left flowers outside with a message ‘With love and prayers from the church at Clifton.

One woman said: ‘This has shocked our small community. Out thoughts out with all affected by this tragedy.’

Inspector Thomas said in a statement yesterday afternoon:  ‘This was a tragic and traumatic incident and understandably residents in the area have been left distressed and deeply saddened by the deaths of two young children in their community.

‘My thoughts are with the family and friends of all those affected by this tragedy.

Inspector Karl Thomas, of Nottinghamshire Police reassured neighbours that high-visibility patrols would continue in the area in the coming days and appealed to witnesses for information. Pictured: the scene of the fire early yesterday morning

Inspector Karl Thomas, of Nottinghamshire Police reassured neighbours that high-visibility patrols would continue in the area in the coming days and appealed to witnesses for information. Pictured: the scene of the fire early yesterday morning

‘As the investigation continues, we are working closely with members of the local community, Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service and other partners. We have also increased patrols so that the extra police visibility serves as a message of reassurance.

‘I would encourage any members of the public with concerns to speak to one of our officers. They will be on hand over the coming days to support people and I hope this provides reassurance to residents in Fairisle Close and the surrounding neighbourhood.

‘They are there to help and support you.

‘We appreciate the support that we have been given by the local community already and would continue to urge anyone with information about this incident to get in touch.’

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