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HomeHeadline newsFamily dies in ‘suspicious’ fire in Canada

Family dies in ‘suspicious’ fire in Canada

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AN Indian-origin couple and their teenage daughter died in a “suspicious” fire that destroyed their home in Canada’s Ontario province, according to police.

A fire engulfed a home at the Big Sky Way and Van Kirk Drive area of Brampton on March 7, Peel Police said on Friday (15).

After the blaze was put out, investigators located what was believed to be human remains within the gutted house, but the number of people killed couldn’t be ascertained at the time.

The charred remains were on Friday identified as those of three family members: Rajiv Warikoo (51); his wife, Shilpa Kotha (47); and their daughter, Mahek Warikoo (16).

Toronto police confirmed to CBC Toronto that Rajiv was previously a member of the force’s auxiliary programme, their volunteer officer programme, and ended his tenure in 2016.

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Rajiv’s LinkedIn profile said he worked with the Ontario Government – Ministry of Health.

Peel police Constable Taryn Young on Friday said the fire had been deemed suspicious, the CTV news channel reported.

“At this time, we are investigating this with our homicide bureau, and we are deeming this as suspicious as the Ontario Fire Marshal has deemed that this fire was not accidental,” Young said.

The deceased family’s neighbour, Kenneth Yousaf, said that the family had lived on the street for about 15 years, and he never noticed any problems with them.

Yousaf said he was alerted to the fire last week by a family member, who heard a big “bang”. “When we came out, the house was on fire,” Yousaf said.

Police said they are continuing to investigate the deaths of the three family members and urged anyone with information to come forward.

“The circumstances surrounding the house fire remains the focus of an active investigation, and anyone with information or video footage (dashcam or otherwise) is urged to contact Homicide detectives,” police said. (PTI)

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