The family of three young brothers killed in a townhouse fire in Brampton Thursday says the boys were “incredibly kind” and “deeply loved.”
A statement released on behalf of the family Friday said the boys’ mother, Heather Bagan, returned home from bringing her youngest child to daycare and “was devastated to find her home gutted by fire.”
Emergency crews were called to the blaze at a townhouse complex in the area of Torbram Road and Clark Boulevard around 9:15 a.m.
Fifteen-year-old Coen Bagan-Overholt, 12-year-old Riley Bagan-Overholt and nine-year-old Alex Bagan-Overholt died as a result of the blaze.
“First responders made valiant efforts to rescue them, and we thank them for their bravery and attempts,” the statement said.
“Heather’s boys were a delightfully rambunctious bunch, but they were also a tribe of their own. Brothers and young boys that can most definitely be described as incredibly kind, always caring, affectionate, and more than anything, deeply loved.”
They’re survived by their big sister Taylor, 21, and their younger brother Nate, 5.
Heather’s family members will be travelling from Moose Factory, Ont., to be with her, the statement said.
Extended family from Peterborough arrived on Friday and “have been a solid source of support.”
“We thank you for the kind words of support and comfort, for the thoughts, donations, and for the empathy and love that has been expressed by so many who share our grief and loss during this unimaginable time,” Cheryl Tomatuk-Bagan, Heather’s sister, said in the statement.
A GoFundMe account has been set up to assist Heather with funeral costs, rehousing, and food.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown said one of the boys killed in the blaze called 911, but firefighters couldn’t get there in time to save the children.
Brown said the boy told the emergency dispatcher that he was stuck in the house.
It only took six minutes for fire trucks to reach the burning house, but by then, the home was fully engulfed in flames, Brown said.
— With files from The Canadian Press