Kane house fire that claimed lives of 4 brothers deemed accidental
Office of the Fire Commissioner could not confirm exact cause of blaze due to extensive damage
The grandfather of four boys who died in a farmhouse fire in southern Manitoba earlier this year says he hopes the family will have some peace now that the fire commissioner has ruled the blaze accidental.
The Feb. 25 fire near Kane, about 90 kilometres southwest of Winnipeg, claimed the lives of Bobby Froese, 15, and his brothers Timmy, 12, Danny, 10, and Henry, 9.
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The fire commissioner's office announced on Tuesday that the cause of the fire was undetermined, but ruled it was "accidental in nature."
"The extent of the fire damage prevented efforts to determine with certainty the cause of the fire, despite months of interviews and investigative efforts," a government spokesperson said in a statement.
Their mother escaped with the three youngest children, while their father and oldest brother came home from work to find the house in flames.
The boys' grandfather, Henry Froese, told CBC News he's happy with the fire commissioner's ruling.
"Well, I actually feel great about it. It's just like, let the boys rest," he said Tuesday evening.
'It's a big tragedy'
Froese said the family is trying to get their life back together in the months after the tragedy. The boys' father and older brother are working and their mother is caring for the younger children, he said.
Froese added that he's also working to keep himself busy, but he becomes emotional whenever he thinks of the grandkids he lost.
"It's a big tragedy. It's hard to take," he said.
"If I talk about it, I always think of their names they said at their funeral: Bobby Froese, Timmy Froese, Danny Froese and Henry Froese ... and all passed away in the fire."
"The oldest one that passed away, he always came running to me and jumping on me," he recalled. "I think he was eight or nine years old and he had to stop — he was getting too big."
Froese thanked the people of Kane and surrounding area for all their support and donations.
He said while the fire commissioner's investigation is now closed, he hopes to find out the cause of the fire someday.
"They said it had to do with the electricity. I guess that's all I can ask for. Maybe the baseboard heater had like an electrical cord in the wall or something," he said.
"They probably don't know exactly what happened either. But if there was something, I would like to know."
For now, Froese said he and the rest of the family are trying their best to move on.