CALGARY — Police say a young woman was killed and her teenage sister badly injured in a fire set by their father who also died in the home where there had been a history of conflict.
“What we know at this point is there was a lot of domestic tension within this residence, which led to a violent confrontation on Saturday and we are investigating this as a homicide as well as an attempted murder,” Staff Sgt. Martin Schiavetta said Tuesday.
Investigators believe Heidar Dehdari, 56, was fighting with his daughters in their suburban northwest Calgary house before he intentionally set a fire that led to an explosion. It’s not clear where the blaze started.
He and 22-year-old Dorsa Dehdari died, but investigators aren’t sure whether the father intended to kill himself along with his daughters.
Preliminary autopsies have been completed, but further tests are needed to pinpoint the cause of death for both. Police say evidence at the scene suggests the fire was a contributing factor.
The other daughter, identified in court documents as 15-year-old Dorna Dehdari, is in hospital with life-altering injuries.
Police do not know the motive and are investigating the events leading up to the explosion.
Schiavetta said officers responded to a domestic call at the home in December related to a verbal confrontation.
The provincial Justice Ministry has no criminal charges on file for Heidar Dehdari in Alberta.
In a statement distributed by police, the Dehdari family asked for privacy during a “time of unimaginable sorrow.”
Court records show Dehdari’s wife had filed for divorce just over a month ago. They married in Iran 27 years ago.
The wife, Leila Dehdari, was not in the house at the time of the fire, Schiavetta said.
Data from the Calgary Police Service shows there were 1,365 domestic calls in the city during the first three months of the year. That’s about on par with last year but nearly 40 per cent higher than the five-year average.
“We recognize that domestic violence is a huge issue in our community,” Schiavetta said.