The funeral for a Flat Bush woman, her 5-year-old son and mother who all died in a house fire shortly before Christmas is being held today.

A service for Bhamini Theiventhiran, her little boy Bareth Kailesh and her mother Umadhevi Theiventhiran is at 1pm at the Manukau Memorial Gardens in Auckland.

Their families have farewelled the "loving mother, wonderful wife and beautiful little boy" in a funeral notice in the Herald.

The trio died when a fire ripped through their Flat Bush home on December 22, leaving Bhamini's husband Kaileshan Thanabalasingham with burns to 40 per cent of his body and in a medically-induced coma.


The prominent refugee advocate had opened his eyes when family arrived from overseas on Saturday but was still heavily sedated, lawyer and close friend Deborah Manning said last week.

The couple's 11-year-old daughter and Bhamini's father were the only two to make it out of the fire unscathed.

The young girl reportedly escaped to tell firefighters people were still inside the two-storey house, which was well ablaze, with windows exploding and smoke billowing.

Fire crews worked on putting it out and enabling a rescue crew to get inside, but were unable to save everyone.

This afternoon's funeral will be followed by private cremation and burial for Bareth, the funeral notice stated.

"Kaileshan and his family would like to extend their gratitude to everyone that have offered their support and assistance at this time," it read.

Umadhevi is survived by her husband Theiventhiran and daughter Abina, who live in Canada.

Bhamini is survived by her husband Kailesh and daughter Krishah.

Donations to a Givealittle page, set up by the refugee community, have so far amassed more than $77,000.

It will be used to help with funeral, medical and practical costs for the family.

Thanabalasingham came to New Zealand as a refugee more than 10 years ago and has been described by Manning as someone with "great empathy for others".

"He didn't come to New Zealand to look after himself. He made sure he looked after as many people as he could."