Brampton house fire: Family releases statement

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The three boys killed in a townhouse fire in Brampton, Ont. on Thursday have been identified by their family and are being remembered as a “delightfully rambunctious bunch” who were kind and caring.

The brothers, 15-year-old Coen Bagan-Overholt, 12-year-old Riley Bagan-Overholt, and nine-year-old Alex Bagan-Overholt, died in hospital shortly after being pulled from their burning townhouse near Torbram Road and Clark Boulevard.

In a statement released through the advocacy group Malton Moms, the Bagan and Tomatauk-Bagan Family said the boys’ mother, Heather Bagan, dropped off her youngest child at daycare and returned to find the home engulfed in flames.

“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,” the statement read.

Coen was known for being witty and having a great sense of humour, who always had a smile on his face.

The family described Riley as “smart and observant in his own quiet way, and very spunky.”

Alex was the happy-go-lucky boy, the family said. He was fun and silly, and wore an infectious smile.

The boys are survived by their big sister Taylor and their five-year-old brother Nate.

“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,” Heather’s sister, Cheryl Tomatauk-Bagan, said in a statement.

The family also thanked the first responders who tried to rescue the boys.

According to the statement, Heather’s family from Moose Factory, Ont. will be travelling to Brampton to be with her while extended family from Peterborough have already arrived to provide support.

Peel police said Thursday that the fire was a ‘tragic circumstance’ and that they were not investigating it as a case of neglect.

The cause of the fire is being investigated by the Office of the Fire Marshal in parallel with police.

Neighbours have been dropping flowers and candles at a makeshift memorial near the home.

FULL STATEMENT: 

On Jan 20, 2022, Heather Bagan returned home from bringing her youngest child to daycare, and was devastated to find her home gutted by fire. Her boys, ages 15, 12, and 9, perished as a result of their injuries in hospital. First responders made valiant efforts to rescue them, and we thank them for their bravery and attempts.

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.

Coen Bagan-Overholt, age 15, was known for being witty and having a great sense of humour, but he will be remembered for how he always had a smile on his face.

Riley Bagan-Overholt, age 12, was smart and observant in his own quiet way, and very spunky.

Alex Bagan-Overholt, age 9, was a fun, silly and happy go lucky boy who also always wore an infectious smile.

The boys are survived by their big sister Taylor, 21, who they adored, and their baby brother Nate, age 5.

Heather’s family will be travelling down south from their home community of Moose Factory, Ontario , to be together with Heather. Extended family from Peterborough have arrived immediately on Friday, and have been a solid source of support. We ask that you respect the family‘s privacy during this very difficult time, as they continue to grieve.

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