Canada: Seven members of two Pakistani families were killed in an early-morning fire in the city of Chestermere in Alberta on Friday.
According to reports, the fire killed seven members of two connected Karachi households. Among the deceased were Amjad Kamal, Rafia Rashid, a 35-year-old lady, and four children. Four youngsters and one adult man were able to flee.
Local authorities said a fire swept through a house in Chestermere, Alberta, killing seven people, including four small children. Another five individuals were able to flee.
7 of a family killed in Canada, Chestermere area, 3 adults 4 children pic.twitter.com/G5H09bRASy
— Khalid (Halit Ertuğrul) (@khalid_pk) July 3, 2021
Neighbors reported hearing a huge explosion at a house in the 300 block of Oakmere Close in Chestermere, just east of Calgary, at about 2:30 a.m. on Friday. The fire totally damaged the rear of the house.
“Two related family units were in the home at the time of the fire,” Alberta RCMP said in a statement. “One adult male and four children were able to escape the fire; tragically, seven other occupants were unable to. ”
A man and a woman in their late 30s, a 35-year-old woman, a 12-year-old boy, a 12-year-old girl, an 8-year-old girl, and a 4-year-old child were among the victims.
EMS examined the five survivors who managed to flee, and the four youngsters were transported to the hospital as a precaution.
The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has ordered autopsies on the dead, which will take place in the following days, according to the RCMP.
“The cause of the fire remains under investigation by Chestermere RCMP; however, the preliminary investigation does not indicate it to be criminal in nature,” RCMP said in the statement, adding that autopsies will be carried out in the coming days.
“The Fire Investigator along with the RCMP Forensic Identification Unit remain on scene to conduct a further examination,” the statement said.
Marshall Chalmers, the mayor of Chestermere, says the whole town is reeling at the news of the tragic fire and that the community will come together to support the grieving family.
“Words cannot effectively express the devastation on our community. Our minds cannot fully comprehend the overwhelming loss,” he said in a statement Friday afternoon.
“Our hearts ache for this family, this neighborhood, and the community at large. While many will feel helpless in the face of such heartbreak, all we can do is to join together to grieve, to listen, and to support those impacted.”
Chalmers also praised first responders for their efforts, as well as the many people who sent their thoughts and prayers from across the province.