Brampton fire victims mourned by community

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A week after a deadly townhouse fire claimed the lives of three young brothers in Brampton, a grieving community is coming together to support the family and their neighbors who were also displaced by the fire.

Donations are collected at the New Apostolic Church a short walk from the townhouse complex where the deadly fire occurred near Torbram Road and Clark Boulevard on January 20.

“It’s affecting all of us, it’s our families – to know how desperately affected they are, I wanted to play a small part,” neighbor Deanna McAffee, who donated gift cards to CTV News Toronto, told CTV News Toronto. grocery store.

The boys, identified as Coen, 15, Riley, 12, and Alex Bagan Overholt, nine, died in hospital after being pulled from their burning home.

The family said the boys’ mother, Heather Bagan, was not home at the time of the fire as she went to drop off her youngest child at daycare. When he returned, the residence was already in flames.

“It was very tragic and very devastating,” McAffee said. “You are not alone, you are cared for and loved and any way we can support you, we will do our best.”

Three other families were displaced by the fire.

In addition to gift cards, household items are also collected.

“We wanted to create a space where people can donate and contribute to a tragedy that will last for months,” said organizer Lisa Latorcai, who added that one family will not be able to return home for eight months.

“The feedback we’ve been getting is that they need gift cards or some sort of cash to be able to live day to day.”

The Office of the Fire Marshal continues to investigate the cause and origin. It is still unclear if the house had working smoke detectors.

The fire is one of a series of 9 fires in Ontario this month that claimed the lives of 17 people according to the Office of the Fire Marshal.

“Dozens more were rescued [and] we’ve had so many close calls the number could be incredibly higher,” said Ontario Fire Marshal Jon Pegg.

The toll of deadly fires this month prompted Pegg to post a candid and blunt video message on social media stating that some people are ‘not getting the message’ and pleaded with residents to do more to prevent fires in their homes .

“I’m broken and I hurt myself. I want to send the message as loudly and as clearly as possible that a small device and a family escape plan will save your life,” Pegg told CTV Toronto.

In the post, Pegg urged residents to make sure their smoke alarms are working and to practice family escape plans.

Most of the fatal fires that have occurred this month are still under investigation.

“For whatever reason, [..] we can’t find any working smoke alarms. If you look at the data on working smoke detectors, people are losing everything and it’s devastating, but they’re all out on the lawn,” Pegg said.

FUNERAL PLANNED FOR SUNDAY

The family of the three Brampton boys released a new statement on Wednesday indicating that while services for the three boys will be private, a drive-through event will be held for members of the community to pay their respects to the three brothers and support the family .

The visitation event will be held at the Brampton Funeral Home at 10061 Chinguacousy Road in Brampton on Sunday from 4-6 p.m.

They remind those planning to visit to stay in their vehicle and follow a designated path.

In lieu of flowers, the family is asking visitors to make a donation on behalf of the boys to Autism Ontario.

Files of CTV Toronto’s Miriam Katawazi

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