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Updated March 16th, 2024 at 12:13 IST

Indian-Origin Couple, 16-Year-Old Daughter Found Dead After Massive Fire Gutted Brampton Home

An Indian-origin couple and their 16-year-old daughter were found dead after a "mysterious" fire broke out at their home in Canada's Brampton.

Reported by: Digital Desk
Rajiv Warikoo, 51, left, Shilpa Kotha, 47, right, and their daughter Mahek Warikoo 16, centre
Rajiv Warikoo, 51, left, Shilpa Kotha, 47, right, and their daughter Mahek Warikoo 16, centre | Image:Facebook - Shilpa Kotha
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Brampton – An Indian-origin couple and their 16-year-old daughter were found dead after a "mysterious" fire broke out at their home in Canada's Brampton. According to a statement released by the Peel Regional Police, the devastating incident took place on March 7. The authorities noted that the house was located in the Big Sky Way area in Brampton. The police found the remains of the deceased family and identified them as Rajiv Warikoo, age 51, Shilpa Kotha, age 47, and Mahek Warikoo, age 16. The fire broke out shortly before 1:30 pm and by the time the crew arrived at the site, the house was completely engulfed in flames. Multiple neighbours told CBC Canada that the neighbours reported hearing a loud explosion prior to the blaze.

“Following the initial efforts of first responders to put the fire out, the fire Marshall’s office was called in to help determine the cause of the fire. While examining the scene, investigators made an unfortunate discovery when they located what was believed to be human remains within the destroyed house,” the Peel Regional Police said in the news release. “Detectives from the Peel Regional Police Homicide Bureau have been working closely with the Office of the Chief Coroner and have identified the remains as belonging to Rajiv Warikoo, age 51, Shilpa Kotha, age 47, and Mahek Warikoo, age 16. All three of the deceased persons resided at the address prior to the fire,” the police added. While the authorities revealed the identity of the deceased, they maintained that the circumstances surrounding the house fire remain the focus of active investigation.

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The fire was deemed ‘suspicious’ 

While speaking to CTV Canada on Friday, the Peel Police Constable Taryn Young stated that the fire was deemed to be suspicious. "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. “There's not much left to it. 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 added. Young insisted that the authorities are still determining how exactly the three family members lost their lives. 

Meanwhile, the neighbours of the family also expressed shock over the incident. One of the neighbours named Nicholas Qaqish told CBC News that he was at home when the fire broke out. He noted that he was startled by a loud explosion. "Everybody was freaking out, trying to figure out what was going on," he said. “It was one of the most craziest things I've ever seen, one of the most traumatic things I've seen, especially in this area. It's just something that you never think would happen in your neighbourhood,” he added.

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Published March 16th, 2024 at 12:13 IST

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