'I thought I'd die': Survivor of fatal North Vancouver fire speaks out
Published Wednesday, June 13, 2018 11:01AM EDT
A teenager who barely escaped a fire which killed his mother and brother said he thought he was going to die too.
Sohail Koshkoye Delshad jumped from a window while the blaze ripped through his apartment building in North Vancouver, around 2:30 a.m. on Monday.
His father also managed to jump to safety shortly before a propane tank on the apartment’s balcony exploded.
But his mother, Narges Casnajad, and seven-year-old brother, Sepehr, were unable to escape.
“I’m glad at least they died together, because I don’t think they could have lived without each other,” Sohail told CTV Vancouver.
The 14-year-old described how he desperately tried to save the pair as the blaze began to engulf the apartment.
Sohail ran to the back bedroom where Narges, who friends and family called Elham, and Sepehr had been sleeping.
“My mom and my brother were in front of the window and I took my brother and tried to get him out,” he explained. “But then he whipped his head back and I fell down.”
Sohail felt around the room, which had filled with smoke, but couldn’t find his mother or brother.
“I thought I’d die, so I just jumped out and landed on the trampoline.”
Sohail then watched as his father leaped from the apartment’s balcony. The father is recovering in hospital after injuring his leg and sustaining serious burns.
The father and son watched in horror as firefighters tried in vain to save Narges and Sepehr.
Sohail said his mother and brother had a special connection.
“If one of them lived and the other didn’t, I don’t think they could have lived normally,” he said tearfully in an emotional interview the day after the fire. “I don’t think they could bear with the pain, because my mom loved my brother so much. She loved all of us.”
The teen, who has burns on his ears and neck, added that he is being looked after by close family while his father recovers in hospital.
“I have a lot of family here and they’re as close to me as my mother was, so they’re taking good care of me,” he said.
The cause of the fire, which injured 16 others, is still unknown.
Seventeen units in the building were damaged, displacing around 70 people.
A small memorial dedicated to the deceased mother and son has been erected at the scene.
With a report from CTV Vancouver’s Shannon Paterson