Members of the York Regional Police Service’s homicide unit took over an investigation into a fatal explosion in a house in Markham, which claimed the lives of two children.
On May 17, just before 10 am, emergency crews were called to a residence on Bur Oak Avenue for a reported fire. Crews arrived at the scene to discover that an explosion had occurred in the house, which subsequently caught fire.
A 41-year-old mother and two of her children, aged 6 and 14, were transported to the hospital in critical condition.
A 12-year-old boy, who was not initially found after the fire, was found dead inside the house two days later.
More than two months after the fire, the six-year-old boy, who was receiving treatment at the hospital, also died of his injuries.
Family members identified the two 12-year-old brothers as Aran Hamid and the six brothers as Zheer Hamid.
“The mother of 14 and 41 years spent a long period in the hospital. They have already been discharged from the hospital,” said the sergeant. Andy Pattenden told CTV News Toronto on Tuesday.
The children’s father was absent at the time of the explosion, police said.
“There was a reason why he was away from home during the explosion and this is something that has obviously been investigated since the beginning of the incident. But it is still part of the ongoing investigation,” said Pattenden.
The Office of the Fire Marshal (OFM) conducted an investigation into the explosion and the findings were recently shared with the York Regional Police.
“It took a long time for the fireman’s office to work on his long investigation. And with the report that came back, the fire was considered suspicious and that is why our homicide unit took over,” said Pattenden.
He noted that the cause of the explosion was determined, but the police will not release this detail.
“What they (homicide detectives) are calling for now is anyone who might have any information about the family, why the explosion happened at home,” said Pattenden.
“They spoke to everyone who survived this terrible explosion, but they are really looking for someone else who might have information to present.”
He said the police have not yet identified any suspects.