• Sunday, April 21, 2024


Indian-origin couple, teenage daughter killed in ‘suspicious’ fire at Canada home

Investigating officials felt the fire was not accidental, a local police source said.

Members of the Indian-origin family killed in a ‘mysterious’ fire in Canada. (Picture: Ravinder Pandita X account/@panditaAPMCC63)

By: Shubham Ghosh

IN a mysterious incident, an Indian-origin couple and their teenage daughter were charred in a “suspicious” fire that broke out in their residence in the Ontario province of Canada last week, police said on Friday (15).

The fire engulfed their house at the Big Sky Way and Van Kirk Drive area of Brampton on March 7, a press release from Peel Police said.

After the fire was doused, investigators found what was believed to be human remains inside the gutted house. However, the number of people killed in the incident could not be ascertained at the time.

Read: Australia Police seek husband of Indian woman found murdered in Victoria

The charred remains were identified on Friday as those of three persons from the same family — 51-year-old Rajiv Warikoo; his 47-year-old wife Shilpa Kotha; and their 16-year-old daughter Mahek Warikoo. They were learnt to be Kashmir Pandits.

Read: Indian-origin woman in UK charged with 10-year-old daughter’s murder

Police said that they resided at the address before the fire.

Peel Police constable Taryn Young on Friday said the fire had been deemed suspicious, Canada’s CTV News reported.

‘Fire not accidental’

“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,” the report quoted Young as saying.

“There’s not much left to it,” Young said when asked about the possible cause of the fire.

“Looking into something like that as a fire marshal, I’m sure it’s very tough when there is not much left to look at. But we are exhausting all avenues,” she 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. So sad. Within a few hours, everything was down to the ground,” the report quoted Yousaf as saying.

In a press release, 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.

(With PTI inputs)

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