Father of family killed in Brampton house fire served with Toronto police auxiliary

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Published March 15, 2024 at 12:10 pm

Rajiv Warikoo, 51, Shilpa Kotha, 47, and Mahek Warikoo, 16, died in a house fire in Brampton on March 7, 2024. (Photo: facebook)

A Brampton community is grieving a family of three including a veteran of the Toronto Police Auxiliary killed in a house fire last week.

“Very shocking news, my heartfelt condolences to his family and friends,” reads a message on a tribute post to Rajiv Warikoo, his wife Shilpa Kotha and their 16-year-old daughter Mahek Warikoo.

Remains of the family were discovered in the wreckage of a home on Van Kirk Drive in Brampton last week.

The blaze gutted the home and damaged another on March 7, and Peel Regional Police say it’s possible the fire was the result of an explosion.

Few details have been released about the family, but Insauga.com has learned Rajiv was a two-year veteran of the Toronto Police Auxiliary and Rajiv was a former member of the Brams United Soccer Club.

TPS Auxiliary officers are volunteers supporting the officers with crime prevention programs or at large-scale events like parades, and “operational call-outs” searching for missing people.

A spokesperson for TPS told Insauga.com he was last a member of the service in 2016.

Rajiv Warikoo served two years with the Toronto Police Service Auxiliary. (Photo: Facebook)

Rajiv Warikoo (left) pictured here with Peel Regional Police Chief Nishan Duraiappah. (Photo: Facebook)

A supporter and member of Ontario’s law enforcement community, Rajiv’s Facebook page has tributes to fallen police officers and even a photo with Peel Regional Police Chief Nishan Duraiappah.

“Always a pleasure to meet my good friend Chief Nishan Duraiappah,” the post reads.

Insauga.com has reached out to the chief for comment on Rajiv and the family’s deaths but no response was received.

Homicide detectives have taken over the investigation along with the Ontario Fire Marshal, and police say the remains were found after crews extinguished the blaze. A video of the fire shared on social media showed the family’s home completely engulfed with a large plume of black smoke and flames rising from the burned-out building.

Peel police say the fire is now an active homicide investigation and officers are appealing to anyone who may have witnessed the fire or the suspected explosion to come forward with information.

Anyone with information or who may have or video footage of the area is urged to contact homicide detectives at 905-453-2121 ext. 3205. Tips may also be submitted by calling Peel Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or by visiting peelcrimestoppers.ca.

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