Ebraheim and Kawthar Barho have released a statement Tuesday to mark Wednesday’s first anniversary of the tragic fire that killed seven of their children.
The Barho children — Ahmad, 14; Rola, 12; Mohamad, 9; Ola, 8; Hala, 3; Rana, 2, and four-month-old Abdullah — all died when fire swept through their Spryfield house on Feb. 19, 2019, just after midnight.
Only the parents managed to escape, but the father, Ebraheim, received serious burns and since then has undergone several surgeries.
The Hants East Assisting Refugees Team (HEART), which helped take the family in when they arrived in 2017 as refugees, released the statement on behalf of the parents.
“We would like to offer our deepest gratitude to the thousands of Nova Scotians who have shown us their love and support over this past year,” Ebraheim and Kawthar said in a written statement.
“The loss is immense, and we miss our children every day.
“Still we have found comfort in the kindness of strangers, in the courage of first responders, in the dedication of healthcare professionals, and in the sense of belonging offered to us by this community. We will keep each and every one of you in our hearts forever.”
HEART said that it continues to mourn the loss of “seven beautiful Barho children.”
“Our lives have great joy and love, and our lives also have great tragedy and loss. In the past year, the only thing that rose to the same level as the tragic loss of the 7 seven children we loved, was the outpouring of compassion and support from communities, both near and far,” the team stated.
In September 2019, Halifax Regional Fire & Emergency (HRFE) said it was unable to determine what caused the fire on Quartz Drive.
At the West Street Fire Station where the update took place, HRFE Chief Ken Stuebing said the department “investigated every avenue available” but was still unable to determine an exact cause.
“We believe the fire started in the back of the main floor living room area, near a couch,” Stuebing said. “We are also confident there was no electrical fault or defect. Investigators determined the circuit breakers to the electric baseboard heaters were in the off position before the fire, meaning there was no power to the heating sources of the house.”
Stuebing said the fire department will continue to investigate the cause of the fire if new information becomes available.
-With files from Graeme Benjamin, Rebecca Lau and The Canadian Press.