Red Eye Chicago

Father of fire victims speaks

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For Anand Tiwari, time stopped on Aug. 11.

That Saturday afternoon, police would later tell him, his wife murdered their two young kids then killed herself by igniting a fire that engulfed the three in flames inside the family’s Naperville home.

At 16 days into his grief, Tiwari exists neither in the present or the past, but rather somewhere in between.

“Vardaan, he is full of life,” said Tiwari on Saturday afternoon, sounding like any other proud father of a precocious 4year-old. His puffy eyes brightened. “He is so full of energy.”

He switched his thoughts to his 18month-old daughter, Ananya. Her vocabulary—a mix of English and Hindi—was just beginning to roll off her tongue, he said.

It’s these memories that swirl in his end, competing fiercely with a crueler vision of what he imagines were his children’s last moments.

Nimisha Tiwari killed her two children and committed suicide by igniting gaso- line she had poured around her bedroom, police ruled.

There is no evidence the children had been drugged, but toxicology results could be available as soon as this week.

The Tiwaris’ marriage had been deeply troubled in recent months. Both spouses had filed complaints with police in May, alleging bad parenting and abuse on the other’s part.

Now, he said, he can only speculate that his wife killed their kids as some sort of “punishment” aimed at him for her unhappines­s and to keep him from getting custody.

He believes she suffered psychologi­cal effects of multiple sclerosis. He said he was trying to get her help, and was struggling amid her accusation­s that he was “recording her” and that he was having affairs.

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