THE family of a Blackburn couple who died after an arson attack on their home have been hit by a third tragedy.

Fatima Ibrahim Mohamed, 73, the elderly mother of fire victim Abdullah Mohammed, 41, died in Royal Blackburn Hospital on Friday morning after a long-term illness.

It came as police arrested two men in East London in connection with the investigation into the fire.

Due to her health problems, Mrs Mohamed, known in the community as ‘Auntie’, never knew about the horrific fire which took the lives of her son and his wife Aysha.

She had been living with the family of five in London Road, Blackburn, before being admitted to hospital in the weeks before the blaze.

Coun Suleman Khonat, a family friend, said: “She was a big part of a well-respected family.

“People are trying to come to terms with the second family bereavement after Aysha died last week and this is now even more tragic.

“It’s too much to take in.”

Detective Superintendent Neil Hunter, the officer leading the double murder inquiry, said: “We really feel for the family and the position they find themselves in. We have offered our deepest condolences and sympathies to the family. It is unbelievably tragic.”

Meanwhile, a 25-year-old man and a 19-year-old man were arrested on Thursday at separate addresses in East London on suspicion of murder. They are both from London.

Of the two men, aged 23 and 22, from Forest Gate, London, arrested earlier in the week one has been released on bail and the other remains in custody.

Two other men have been charged with murder and arson and remain in custody.