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Halifax couple thanks public a year after house fire claimed their seven children

February 19, 2020
By Canadian Press
Feb. 19, 2020, Halifax, N.S. – The parents of seven children who died in a Halifax
house fire a year ago are offering thanks to the public for the love
and support they’ve received since the tragedy.
Syrian refugees Ebraheim and Kawthar Barho survived the fire that
destroyed their rental home in the Halifax suburb of Spryfield on
Feb. 19, 2019.
The couple’s seven children – Ahmad, 14; Rola, 12; Mohamad, nine;
Ola, eight; Hala, three; Rana, two and Abdullah, three months –
perished inside the home.
“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,” the couple said in a statement released Tuesday through
the office of Halifax MP Andy Fillmore. “The loss is immense, and
we miss our children every day.”
The Barhos said they had managed to find comfort in the kindness
of strangers, the courage of first responders and in the dedication
of health-care professionals, as well as “the sense of belonging
offered to us by this community.”
“We will keep each and every one of you in our hearts forever,”
the letter states.
Ebraheim Barho remains in hospital after sustaining severe burns
over much of his body.
In a recent interview with CTV, Dr. Jack Rasmussen, the lead
physician in the burn unit at the Halifax Infirmary, said Barho had
undergone nearly 15 surgeries over the past year along with hours of
physiotherapy and speech therapy.
Meanwhile, investigators in Halifax have yet to identify a cause
for the fire.
In an update given last September, investigators said they were
only able to determine that the blaze began at the back of the house
in the main-floor living room near a couch.
Nothing was found to lead them to believe the fire was
suspicious, and they ruled out smoking materials, kitchen activities
and electrical faults as possible causes.
The fire hit the greater Halifax community hard and touched
people across the country. More than 2,000 people attended the
funeral service for the Barho children in Halifax.
The family, originally from the war-torn Syrian city of Raqqa,
arrived in Canada as refugees in September 2017.
They first settled in rural Elmsdale, N.S., about 35 minutes
north of Halifax, but eventually moved to Spryfield to take
advantage of immigrant services, including English-language
training.
The Hants East Assisting Refugees Team also released a statement
on Tuesday noting the tragic loss of the seven children but adding
that “in difficult times our memories bring comfort.”
“We would like to express our most heartfelt thanks to the many
people and organizations who have offered their love and guidance
over the last year as we supported Kawthar and Ebraheim,” the group
said. ” To the thousands of Canadians who were there for us during
this devastating time, we are deeply grateful.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 18,
2020.


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