Indian-origin couple, daughter killed in suspicious fire in Canada

Ottawa: An Indian-origin couple and their teenage daughter were killed in a "suspicious" fire which destroyed their home last week 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, a press release by the Peel Police said on Friday.

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: 51-year-old Rajiv Warikoo; his wife, 47-year-old Shilpa Kotha; and their 16-year-old daughter, Mahek Warikoo.

Toronto police confirmed to CBC Toronto that Rajiv was a member of the force's auxiliary programme, their volunteer officer programme. He ended his duties in 2016.

Rajiv's LinkedIn profile said he worked with the Ontario Government - Ministry of Health.

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, 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.

During a search of the property after the fire had been brought under control, investigators discovered what they believed to be human remains. Damage to the home was so extensive they couldn't say at the time how many people may have been inside during the fire, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported.

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," Yousaf said.

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.

( Source : PTI )
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