Family members have identified three boys who died after a house fire in Brampton on Thursday.
The boys were brothers Alex Bagan-Overholt, 9, Riley Bagan-Overholt, 12, and Coen Bagan-Overholt, 15, according to the family of their mother, Heather Bagan, and her sister, Cheryl Tomatuk-Bagan, in a Friday statement. which was shared by Peel Regional Police and a group called Malton Moms.
“Heather’s boys were a wonderfully battering bunch, but they were also their own tribe. Brothers and young boys who can definitely be described as incredibly kind, always caring, loving and more than anything else, deeply loved,” the statement said.
Peel police have said Heather Bagan took a younger child to school when the fire broke out and that no other adults were home. One of the boys called 911, but the fire tore through the townhouse too quickly for firefighters to rescue them. The boys were pulled from the home and taken to hospital with serious injuries.
The family said all three boys died at the hospital and that Bagan was “destroyed” by the fire.
“First Aiders made a valiant effort to rescue them, and we thank them for their bravery and effort,” the family statement said.
Cheryl Tomatuk-Bagan said in the statement: “We thank you for the kind words of support and comfort, for the thoughts, the donations and for the empathy and love that has been expressed by so many who share our grief and loss during this unimaginable time. . “
Boys are remembered as ‘witty’, ‘spunky’, ‘happy-go-lucky’
According to the family’s statement, Coen was “known for being witty and having a good sense of humor, but he will be remembered for how he always had a smile on his face.”
Riley was remembered as “smart and attentive in her own quiet way, and very spunky,” the family said.
The family described Alex as a “funny, silly and happy boy who also always carried an infectious smile.”
The three boys survived their sister, Taylor, 21, and their brother Nate, 5.
Mother surrounded by support
The statement said Bagan’s family members from Moose Factory, Ont., And Peterborough, Ont., Gave her support and asked that the family’s privacy be respected “in this very difficult time as they continue to mourn.”
On behalf of the family, Malton Moms has organized a GoFundMe to help Bagan.
Crystal Mark, Bagan’s close friend, told CBC News on Friday that the grieving mother is “one of the most resilient, capable and rewarding parents I have ever seen.”
“So it does not feel right to see this happen,” she said.
Mark said the boys were good kids – “fun, friendly … cute with other kids in the neighborhood.”
“It really is a tragedy when something like this happens.”
Ontario’s Office of the Fire Marshal is still investigating, but the cause of the fire may take some time to find out.
“Our hearts go out to the family and community during this difficult time,” the fire chief’s office said in a Friday statement.
Four investigators assigned
Deputy Fire Marshal Tim Beckett was on site Thursday to offer support to the Brampton firefighters and the fire marshal’s investigation team.
Four investigators have been assigned to the case and staff were on site Friday working with Peel Regional Police in Brampton Fire and Emergency Services.
“Since the nature of each fire site is unique, fire investigators take the time to review all evidence and data thoroughly before concluding a report,” the fire department said.
The office said it would be “too early to speculate on any findings or time frame for completion.”