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Investigation continues into fatal Tottenham fire – Plan your escape

January 15, 2018   ·   0 Comments

Monday, January 1, was a tragic day for the residents policed by Nottawasaga OPP.

Two lives were tragically lost in two separate incidents within a few hours of each other. These two incidents have had significant impacts on the families, friends, community members and the responding emergency services personnel.

This summary will cover the second of these two incidents.

At 11:22 p.m., New Tecumseth Fire and Rescue, County of Simcoe Paramedic Services and York Region Paramedic Services responded to a fully engulfed residential fire located at 53 Park Crescent, in Tottenham.

Tragically, only two of three of the residents home at the time of the incident made it out of the residence. Attempts by the family members to rescue the remaining occupant were hampered due to the nature and location of the fire.

Both family members, Matthew Collins, 39, and his 15-year-old son, sustained injuries in these rescue attempts and were later transported to hospitals for treatment. They have since been released and are recovering.

Attempts were also made by New Tecumseth Fire and Rescue. Unfortunately, Krestine Collins, aged 38, succumbed to her injuries.

Krestine leaves behind not only her husband Matthew and son, but a 10 year old daughter, who was not at home during the fire.

The investigation has been turned over to the Office of the Fire Marshal and the Office of the Coroner, assisted by members of Nottawasaga OPP and New Tecumseth Fire and Rescue. No charges are expected.

“Our condolences go out to the Collins family at this time,” said Nottawasaga OPP Detachment Commander, Inspector Steve Clegg.

“We are looking into the cause of the fire,” said Fire Marshal Ross Nichols. “We are looking at all areas of the home for the source of the ignition.”

Nichols also stated that they were aware that the Collins, whose home was under construction and did not have any working smoke alarms, had recently purchased new appliances.

“I can’t comment on the appliances, it’s part of the ongoing investigation,” he said.

“The family had no early notification,” added New Tecumseth Fire Chief Dan Heydon. “You need to plan your escape in advance. Two in the morning is not the time to start figuring it out. Either way, you’re going out a window.”

In a separate incident on January 1st, at 9:45 p.m. OPP officers responded to a two vehicle crash on County Road 15, between the 5th Sideroad and County Road 5, of Adjala–Tosorontio Twp.

Later investigation revealed that a northbound vehicle was struck on the right side by a southbound vehicle. The driver of the northbound vehicle, Jack Birkett, age 18, of New Tecumseth, received non-life threatening injuries. Sadly, his passenger, 18 year old Avery Andrew of Main Street, Adjala–Tosorontio, succumbed to her injuries and was pronounced at the scene.

The driver of the southbound vehicle, Marvin Doucet, age 23 of Adjala–Tosorontio, was also attended to at the scene by Simcoe County paramedics and there were no life-threatening injuries.

Inspector Clegg spoke to the psychological aftermath the two incidents had on his staff.

“Incidents like these are a real draw on our resources,” he said. “Support programs are in place and have been activated. We and pride in, and value, our officers and the work they do every day. Especially in times like these.”

At press time no further information had been received on the cause of the fire at 53 Park. Follow The Times for updates as they become available.

For more information on how to ‘Plan Your Escape’ and other fire safety tips visit:

By Wendy Gabrek


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