ALMOST as soon as detectives launched a murder inquiry into the London Road fire, they knew they were dealing with a case of mistaken identity.

It is rare for senior investigating officers to speculate on a motive in the days following a major incident, but police were certain enough to tell the Lancashire Telegraph early on that Abdullah and Ayesha Mohammed were tragic, innocent victims.

They were guided by information from the community as more than 100 officers pieced together a picture of the Mohammed family.

It was a portrait of a happy, respectful, religious family, with Abdullah, 41, described as ‘a pillar of the community’ and his wife Ayesha, 39, remembered as a ‘genuine, caring, loving, devoted mother and wife, who mirrored every quality of her husband’.

She led a lot of the local children in ‘good practice’ at the Masjide Al Hidayah Mosque in Whalley Street, where her husband was a popular and respected teacher.

Neighbours said he spend a lot of time at his corner shop Aim, in Whalley Street, just a few minutes walk from his home.

His nephew Usman Master spoke of a loving uncle who ‘touched the hearts of many with his charitable nature’.

Following his death, the Lancashire Telegraph was flooded with tributes to Mr Mohammed which commented on his ‘chirpy, lively personality’, ‘kind heart’ and ‘jolly, down to earth’ attitude.

Coun Suleman Khonat, who knows the Mohammed family well, said: “The anger will be there for some time to come.

“People still feel it every time they drive past the house. When I drive down London Road, I cans till visualise what happened.

“At the time of the incident the community was really saddened at losing such a talented man who taught so many of our children the right path.

“But eventually that moved on to anger because people found out it was deliberate."

Coun Khonat praised the way police frequently returned to the mosque to keep people updated with the investigation.