The family of a four-year-old girl have spoken of their grief after she lost her life in a fire at their home sparked by children playing football.


Aisha Ismail, four, died and five members of her family were injured in the blaze at the villa in Dubai, caused when a football hit an electrical wire and caused a spark.


Smoke billowed through the two-storey home and the child is thought to have suffocated.


Salwa Khamis, Aisha’s aunt, said: "A bright, young girl with her entire future ahead of her died in the house fire, which also left our family homeless and moving from one relative’s home to another."


Aisha’s father Ismail Khamis, 38, risked his life several times to dash into the blazing building in a bid to rescue relatives. There were nine people inside at the time the blaze broke out.


Ismail suffered serious burns as well as breaking both legs when he jumped from a first-floor window. He remains in hospital.


"When Ismail saw the fire, he placed mattresses on the ground floor and ran upstairs to drop each child on to them," added Ms Khamis.


Aisha’s brother Zayed, six, suffered burns to his forehead and on both hands.


"The fire started in the living room when the children were playing with a football that hit an electricity wire," she added.


"This caused a spark that spread to the curtains and later to the rest of the house.


"Ismail asked to see his daughter before burying her but he could not. The whole situation is just terrible."


The blaze prompted civilian defence chiefs to urge people to ensure all electrical equipment is well maintained to cut the risk of a similar blaze.


Twin sisters aged 20 died just a month ago in a fire at their home in Al Twar in Dubai.


The blaze took hold in an extension of the villa where they slept.


A housemaid and a six-month-old baby girl were rescued and treated for minor injuries.

CEN/Salwa Khamis
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Author: Gabriel Zamfir