Devastating house fire claims life of Muslims in Canada

TEHRAN, Jul. 03 (MNA) – Seven members of two related Muslim families, including four children, died in an overnight house fire Friday following Canada Day celebrations.

According to Calgary Herald, the blaze tore through the home in Chestermere, just east of Calgary, at about 2:30 a.m.

Cpl. Tammy Keibel said a boy and a girl, both 12, an eight-year-old girl, and a four-year-old boy perished in the fire. A man and a woman both thought to be 38 years old and another woman approximately age 35 also died.

An adult man and four children were able to escape the blaze, Keibel said, with EMS transporting the children to the hospital.

The home was owned by Amjad Kamal, the man who survived the fire, neighbor Khaleel Bhatti told Postmedia. Amjad, his wife, and his five children were hosting his brother Asad Kamal and his wife and three children for a barbecue, after which they stayed overnight, Bhatti said.

According to Bhatti, Kamal woke up to the fire and began working to rescue the children inside; he managed to save four of the kids, including one child as young as 1½.

Amjad survived the fire, but his brother Asad Kamal and their wives, Rafiya Kamal and Batool Rashid, all died in the blaze.

“It’s very devastating, it’s very sad,” Bhatti said. “It’s a deep sorrow and a deep mental stress.”

Alberta MLA Leela Sharon Aheer (C) comforts a man in Chestermere, AB, east of Calgary on Friday, July 2, 2021. Aheer is the local MLA and joined community members following an overnight fire which severely damaged a house and a number of residents are deceased.

Calgary Imam Syed Soharwardy with the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada confirmed the families’ identities.

He said both families were members of his congregation at Green Dome Mosque in northeast Calgary, as well as the Al-Madinah Chestermere Islamic Centre.

“They were very nice people, very down-to-Earth, good Muslims,” Soharwardy said. “They were good Canadians.”

Fire crews could be seen cleaning the remnants of the burned-out home on the 300 block of Oakmere Close Friday afternoon.

Fire, RCMP, and forensic officials were at the scene of the blaze, and a towing company could be seen taking a vehicle from the home’s driveway.

The roof and back of the home were burned out. Panels on a neighboring home appeared to be damaged.

HJ/PR

News Code 175605

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