Three members of Indian-origin family, including 16-year-old daughter, die in ‘suspicious’ house fire in Canada

Three members of family die after 'suspicious' fire destroys their home in Canada
Three members of family die after ‘suspicious’ fire destroys their home in Canada. Photo Courtesy:  Ravinder Pandita(Save Sharda) X page

Three members of an Indian-origin family died after a ‘suspicious’ fire gutted their house in Canada’s Ontario last week.

Peel Police identified them as Rajiv Warikoo, 51, Shilpa Kotha, 47, and Mahek Warikoo, 16.

“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,” police said in a statement.

“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 at 905-453-2121 extension 3205,” police said.

Who was Rajiv Wariokoo?

Toronto police confirmed to CBC Toronto that Rajiv Warikoo was a member of the force’s auxiliary program, their volunteer officer program.

He ended his duties in 2016.

Const. Taryn Young, spokesperson for Peel police told CBC News investigators are trying to find the cause of the fire and the circumstances that lead to the death of the three members of the family.

Nicholas Qaqish said he was in his home when the fire broke out at the house and a loud explosion was heard.

Neighbours express shock

“Everybody was freaking out, trying to figure out what was going on,” he told CBC News.

“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 said.

Sree Nandyala, a resident of the neighbourhood for about three years, said she felt shocked after learning about the death of the three especially the 16-year-old.

“To find out someone so young died … it’s terrifying to think about,” she told CBC.