A HUSBAND killed his wife and four daughters by setting fire to their home before throwing himself into the flames, an inquest was told.

Caneze Riaz, who was a popular community worker, died along with her four daughters in the blaze at their home in Tremellen Street, Accrington, last November.

Her husband Mohammed, who worked at a plastics factory in Blackburn, was pulled alive from the house by firefighters but died later in hospital.

The inquest was told that Mohammed had poured a line of petrol all over the house. Three seats of fire were found upstairs at the top of the stairs outside Sayrah's bedroom and outside Caneze's room.

The fire was believed to have been started by a match upstairs.

Mohammed had also poured the highly flammable liquid over Caneze while she was sleeping in the master bedroom with little Hannah, the inquest was told.

Police chiefs said Mohammed waited downstairs as he was expecting the backblast from the fire to strike him.

However when the fire didn't spread to the ground floor of the house, Mohammed walked upstairs and then threw himself into the flames, the hearing was told.

Caneze's DNA was found on one of the petrol cans left in the room. The hearing heard that this indicated that Caneze had woken and tried to get to the door holding the can, before being overcome.

The hearing heard that the motives behind the killings may never be known.

However after the case police said that distance had grown between Mohammed and Caneze and that there were also financial difficulties. Coroner Michael Singleton said Caneze, 39, and daughters Sayrah, 16, Sophia, 12, Alicia, 10, and Hannah, three, died from inhalation of products of combustion.

The coroner recorded a verdict that Mohammed, who suffered 65 per cent burns to his body, killed himself and unlawfully killed his wife and four daughters.

Mr Singleton paid tribute to the fire service for their "heroism" and to police chiefs for their thorough investigation.

He said: "Never within my 13 years as coroner have I had to deal with so many connected deaths or circumstances where the wider community has been so deeply affected by the tragedy."

Mohammed, 49, died at Wythenshawe Hospital from burns and smoke inhalation.

He was identified by his cousin Mohammed Akram.

He was found unconscious in the bathroom In the rear bedroom next to the bathroom, Sayrah's body was found.

Alicia was found on the floor of the front bedroom and Sophia was in bed in the same room.

The couple's 17-year-old son Adam was not home as he was receiving treatment for a terminal illness at the time. He died a few weeks later.

Speaking after the inquest, Det Supt Mick Gradwell said: "We are never going to know exactly why he did it but there are a number of issues.

"Adam went into Christies Hospital that day.

"There were financial difficulties, which were not huge but there was quite a bit of debt.

"Caneze's brother Barry told us about a distancing of Mohammed and Caneze.

"They wanted different things.

"Caneze didn't want her daughters to have arranged marriages but exactly why he did this, we can't give a reason.