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Seven Pakistanis killed in Canada house fire

A fire at a house in the Canadian city of Chestermere, Alta has killed seven members of the same Muslim family including four children.

A fire at a house in the Canadian city of Chestermere, Alta has killed seven members of the same Muslim family including four children.

According to details, a fire broke out in the house of a Muslim family in Chestermere, just east of Calgary. The dead included 1 man, 2 women, and 4 children.

According to the Canadian police, the cause of the fire has not been determined but a preliminary investigation does not indicate criminal activity, said RCMP Cpl. Tammy Keibel.

Keibel said the deceased individuals found in the house were a man and a woman, each approximately 38 years old. Two 12-year-olds, one male and one female and an eight-year-old girl and a four-year-old boy.

RCMP said two related families were staying at the home. The house is located on the 300 block of Oakmere Close. The block is currently closed and emergency crews remain on site. Neighbour John Martins said that he woke up in the middle of the night, smelling smoke.

Thinking it was his house that was on fire, Martins went outside. There, he saw people in the street and the nearby house burning. “They had company over last night,” Martins said. “It was terrible, just terrible,” Keibel added.

Khaleel Bhatti was on the scene on Friday afternoon. He said he knew the family, and had seen them often at prayers. “This is a small town, small city, and they were very nice people, very humble family,” Bhatti said. A video has been recorded in a nearby neighborhood which shows that the house was burnt to ashes in about 3 minutes.

The RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) says a preliminary investigation into the tragic accident shows that no one set the fire on purpose. Residents of Chestermere are asked to stay clear of the area and give crews room to work.

In a statement, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said, “I am deeply grieved over the loss of Pakistani nationals in a fire incident. We are in contact with the Canadian authorities for an investigation into the incident.”

He also prayed for the departed souls and for strength to the bereaved family to bear the loss with fortitude, while also ordering extension of wide-ranging support to the affected family.

The statement also said that on the foreign minister’s instructions, Pakistan’s high commissioner to Canada and its consulate in Vancouver were in constant contact with the family.

Meanwhile, a statement from the Foreign Office (FO) also expressed its condolences and said it was “deeply saddened by the tragic death, due to house fire, of seven Canadian-Pakistanis, including four children, in Alberta, Canada.”

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims of this tragic incident. We also pray for quick and full recovery of the injured,” it added.

The FO statement said that the Pakistan Consulate General in Vancouver was in contact with the relevant Canadian authorities to determine the facts of the incident and offer “all possible assistance” to the bereaved family.

“As per the relevant Canadian authorities, the cause of the fire is still unknown, however, preliminary investigations indicate that it’s not criminal in nature,” said the FO statement.


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