The brother of a Halifax man who was badly injured in a fire that killed his seven children said his sibling is slowly recovering but doubts whether he knows exactly what happened to his family.

Ali Barho, speaking through a translator to CTV News Atlantic, said his brother Ebrahim has been heavily sedated while he recovers from the February house fire.

“They are giving him a strong painkiller,” Ali said. “When you go in, he almost doesn't recognize people.” 

Ebrahim, his wife Kawthar and their seven children arrived in Canada as Syrian refugees in September 2017. In the early morning hours of Feb. 19, 2019, a fire destroyed their home in the Halifax neighbourhood of Spryfield, killing the seven children and severely injuring Ebrahim.

Ebrahim was placed in a medically induced coma and has since gone through multiple surgeries. Ali said his brother’s condition is improving, but he is still in a lot of pain.

The community has rallied around the Barho family. Thousands attended a public funeral for the children and a GoFundMe campaign has raised more than $727,000.

“I would like to thank Canada … and also the Canadians here who have really stood up and really supported our family,” Ali said.  “They have been so nice.”

It took almost a month for Ali and his family to be granted access into Canada from Lebanon, but Ali said he has visited his brother in the hospital every day since arriving.

Ali said his sister-in-law has family in Halifax now, but he is the only relative from Ebrahim’s side of the family still in the city after his brother Mohammed had to return to Italy.

Ali said he now feels alone, but has no plans to leave. 

“As long as my brother is here, I will stay beside him,” he said.

Halifax Fire is still investigating the cause of the fire.