WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- The seven children of a Syrian refugee family were all killed when a fire burned their house down in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
- The family’s sponsor — HEART Society — said that the father is in the hospital in critical condition from injuries he had taken while trying to save his children, while the mother is uninjured but utterly devastated.
- The children, whose ages range from 15 to 4 months old, and their parents were welcomed when they came to Canada in 2017 from war-torn Syria.
The Barho family fled Syria in 2017 and sought refuge in Canada. The Syrian family survived the civil war and was sponsored for resettlement in Canada. Sadly, their house was struck by fire early Tuesday morning in Halifax, Nova Scotia, killing all of the seven children.
“It happened all so fast. All I could see was flames shooting out from the back door going out onto their deck. The house went up really quickly,” neighbor Danielle Burt told CNN partner CBC.
Neighbors were still trying to get a grasp of the tragedy as they held a vigil for the children on Tuesday night in front of the remains of the burned home.
“I don’t think there are words for a mother right now, to have lost all of her children. I hope she knows that the community is here for her and I hope over time she’ll be able to become strong again,” neighbor Melissa Hawks told CBC.
According to Nova Scotia-based refugee team HEART Society (Hants East Assisting Refugee Team Society) and the family’s sponsor, the father, Ebraheim Barho, was hospitalized due to being badly injured while attempting to rescue his children. While the mother Kawthar Barho managed to escape unharmed, she is utterly shocked over the loss of her children and keeps asking to see them.
“She’s finding it difficult to accept what has happened, and she just repeats the name of her children over and over again,” says HEART Society member Natalie Horne to CBC.
In a post on the Facebook page of the mosque where the funerals will be held are the names and ages of all the children: Ahmed, 15; — Rola, 12; — Mohammed, 10; — Ghala, 8; — Hala, 4; — Rana, and Abdullah, 4 months old.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed his condolences in a tweet, saying “words fail when children are taken from us too soon.”
A GoFundMe page was started by family friends to help the family with expenses, including a new home. By Wednesday afternoon, over $279,000 had already been raised.