Flat Bush family killed in house fire mourned at funeral

A funeral has been held for members of a family who tragically died just three days before Christmas in a house fire in the southeast Auckland suburb of Flat Bush.

The service took place earlier on Thursday afternoon at Manukau Memorial Gardens in memory of the trio, who span three generations of the Theiventhiran family.

Refugee Council of New Zealand secretary Kaileshan Thanabalasingham, 47, lost his five-year-old son Bareth Kaileshan, 39-year-old wife Bhamini Theiventhiran and 65-year-old mother-in-law Umadhevi Theiventhiran in the fire.

He escaped but was severely wounded in the blaze and was unable to attend the service as he continues receiving treatment for his burns, which reportedly cover 40 percent of his body.

"He's not always stable and to be honest, Kaileshan's fighting for his life in hospital right now," friend Deborah Manning said at the service.

"We don't know what he knows - he hasn't been able to speak to anyone since the night of the fire."

There were emotional scenes as the victims were loaded into the hearse (Eleisha Foon / Newshub.)
There were emotional scenes as the victims were loaded into the hearse (Eleisha Foon / Newshub.)

Mr Thanabalasingham's 11-year-old daughter and 69-year-old father-in-law survived the fire and were discharged from hospital two weeks ago.

Among the mourners were police and fire officers, Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy and Bareth's preschool teachers. The young boy was remembered as "a little ball of energy" who loved to dance.

A large number of people turned out to mourn those who lost their lives in the fire (Nick Estelrich / Newshub.)
A large number of people turned out to mourn those who lost their lives in the fire (Nick Estelrich / Newshub.)

The fire is not believed to be suspicious and investigators are trying to discover what sparked the blaze which destroyed the two-storey home.

A Givealittle page set up for the family by immigrant trauma organisation Refugees as Survivors New Zealand has since crowdfunded more than $77,000 for the family.

Newshub.