Brampton mental health resources available for first responders after a deadly fire


Published January 26, 2022 at 11:02 am

Brampton fire killed three brothers

The City of Brampton is committed to making mental health resources available to first responders after a deadly fire last week that killed three young Brampton brothers.

In a press conference on Wednesday, Brampton City Councillor Rowena Santos called the deaths of Coen, Riley and Alex Bagan-Overholt an “unimaginable tragedy.”

The three young brothers died after a house fire on Jan. 20, and the incident has led to an outpouring of grief in the Brampton community.

Santos said the city is committed to assisting the emergency workers who responded to the deadly blaze with mental health support, calling their actions “courageous and heroic.”

“We are forever grateful to you for your fearlessness and selflessness last Thursday and every day,” she said. “We are also committed to ensuring your mental health supports,” adding that the fire “perhaps marked one of the most difficult and challenging times in your careers.”

Santos noted that Wednesday marked Bell Let’s Talk Day, with Bell Canada donating $0.05 to mental health initiatives when the #BellLetsTalk hashtag is used in a tweet, retweeted, or used on TikTok.

Emergency crews were called to a townhouse complex on Ellis Dr. near Torbram Rd. and Clark Drive shortly after 9:00 a.m. last Thursday.

When first responders arrived on scene they were met with heavy smoke and flame as one of the townhomes was fully engulfed in flames, according to Peel Regional Police.

Peel Regional Police said officers arrived on scene before firefighters and tried to make entry into the home but were unable to gain access.

Three boys aged 9, 12 and 15 were pulled from the burning home and rushed to hospital in life-threatening condition where they were later pronounced dead. A firefighter was also treated at the scene for minor injuries.

One firefighter was also suffered minor injuries in the fire but was not transported to hospital.

Santos said the boys are survived by their mother, a younger brother and older sister, and a GoFundMe page has been started to help support the family.

The fundraiser has collected more than $200,000 to help the Bagan-Overholt family with rehousing, funeral costs and food, and Santos asked anyone who is able to help support the family.

News of the deaths led to a wave of support for the family from members of the Brampton community.

Brampton Fire Chief Bill Boyes and Peel Regional Police Chief Nishan Duraiappah offered their condolences to the victim’s family and friends, as did Mayor Patrick Brown and Ontario Premier Doug Ford.

The Peel District School Board said it was offering mental health support to the students and staff at Judith Nyman Secondary School, Earnscliffe Senior Public School and Eastbourne Drive Public School.

Flags at all City of Brampton facilities were lowered to half-mast on Thursday and the City Hall clock tower was dimmed in memory of the three children.

You can donate to the family by visiting the Malton Moms GoFundMe page.

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