Mom, 7-year-old who died in fire couldn't have lived without each other: surviving teen
Published Tuesday, June 12, 2018 10:55AM PDT
Last Updated Tuesday, June 12, 2018 6:49PM PDT
A teenager who survived the fire that killed his mother and younger brother says his late family members couldn't have lived without each other.
In an interview describing how he'd escaped by jumping out a window onto a trampoline, Sohail Koshkoye Delshad said his mother would never have left her young son.
"If one of them lived and the other didn't, they couldn’t live normally. I don't think they could bear with the pain because my mom loved my brother so much," he told CTV News through tears the next day.
"She loved all of us… I'm glad at least they died together because I don't think they could have lived without each other."
Narges Casnajad, known to family and friends as Elham, and seven-year-old Sepehr died Monday when their North Vancouver apartment building caught fire around 2:30 a.m.
Sohail survived, as did his father.
The 14-year-old said he wanted to speak to media after seeing errors in previous media coverage. He wanted everyone to know how his mother refused to leave his brother's side, his father tried to save them, and how his extended family is helping him cope with the loss.
He spoke to CTV while visiting a growing memorial left outside Mountain Village Garden Apartments, a four-building complex in the Lynn Valley.
His voice breaking, Sohail described what happened that morning.
He woke up to his dad yelling "fire" from the living room. As he left his bedroom, he saw flames coming through the front door of their apartment from the hallway.
"I knew my mom and brother were in the last room and they were asleep, so I ran in there," he recalled.
Seeing they were awake and the window was open, he broke the screen from the frame so they could escape. He tried to get his mother and brother out first, but fell.
By that time, the room had filled with smoke and he couldn't see. He felt around and couldn't feel or hear them.
"I thought I'd die, so I just jumped and landed on the trampoline so nothing happened to me. I don't know. They didn't jump," he said.
He looked up and saw his father standing on the burning balcony, and yelled to him to jump.
"He jumped down and he hurt his leg and he's really burned up," Sohail said.
"Then the propane tank on our balcony exploded. He was going crazy when the firefighters came and he kept screaming."
But the fire was raging out of control, and crews couldn't get to the bedroom. Elham and Sepehr did not survive.
Sohail has burns on his ears and neck from the fire. His father has serious burns, and will remain in hospital for weeks.
The teen said he's thankful for his family, including his aunt who was with him during the interview.
"I have a lot of family here and they're as close to me as my mother was. And they're taking good care of me," he said.
Sixteen others were injured in the blaze on Monday. Fortunately, firefighters were able to contain the fire to one building, but 17 units were damaged and about 70 people have been permanently displaced.
On Tuesday, a growing memorial had sprung up outside the scene, with notes and flowers left for those affected and for the mother and son who didn't make it out.
Investigators were still at the scene Tuesday, but the cause of the fire is unknown.
North Shore Emergency Management is assisting those who have been displaced and connecting them with available services including accommodations. Those who wish to make monetary or goods donations can do so through the Lynn Valley Lions Club.
With a report from CTV Vancouver's Shannon Paterson
This is Narges Casnajad, known to family and friends as Elham, and her 7 year old son Sepehr. They died together in the North Vancouver apartment fire yesterday. Today I spoke to Elham’s 14 yr old son who survived by jumping out a window. His emotional interview tonight on CTV. pic.twitter.com/tamSW1jLRs— Shannon Paterson (@ctv_shannon) June 12, 2018
Growing memorial at the site of yesterday’s fatal apartment fire in North Vancouver. Narges Casnajad and her son Sepehr died when they couldn’t escape from a second storey bedroom. Fire crews still on scene investigating. pic.twitter.com/7aUEmykS8G— Shannon Paterson (@ctv_shannon) June 12, 2018