Clearview Township fatal fire deemed not suspicious
Investigators from the Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management investigate the scene of a fatal fire near Stayner on Friday. A seven-year-old autistic boy lost his life in the Thursday night fire which the Clearview Township fire department says is not suspicious in nature. CHERYL BROWNE/BARRIE EXAMINER/POSTMEDIA
A fatal fire near Stayner Thursday night that claimed the life of a seven-year-old boy remains under investigation by provincial authorities.
“The fire has been deemed to be non-suspicious and accidental in nature,” according to Clearview Township Fire Chief Colin Shewell.
But the cause of the fire that engulfed a farmhouse on Highway 26 near Sunnidale Corners at County Road 10 is still under investigation by the Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management (OFMEM), he added.
Dominic Smith succumbed to his injuries as a result of the fire.
“I can’t comment further until the OFMEM releases the results of their investigation, which could be months,” Shewell said. “From what I understand, people said there were smoke alarms going off.”
The scene was cleared by the OFMEM and Clearview firefighters Friday afternoon and released to the OPP.
“Provincial police were still on scene on Saturday doing their own investigation,” Shewell said, adding initial damage estimates are pegged at approximately $250,000.
By the time the firefighters arrived on scene before 9 p.m., flames had engulfed the old farmhouse and crews weren’t able to rescue the small boy until they had the fire under control.
“We did retrieve him and remove him and he was delivered to the paramedics, but he was vital-signs absent,” Clearview Deputy Fire Chief Roree Payment said on Friday.
Friends and family in the Stayner area have reached out to help the families affected by the fire.
Sam Lawrence and her fiancé, Dave Fleming and his three children, 18-year-old Brooke, 12-year-old Dylan Arney-Fleming and 11-year-old David Fleming rented the farmhouse with Donald Smith and his seven-year-old autistic son, Dominic.
A GoFundMe social-media page has been organized to raise money, clothes and furnishings for the family.
Almost $26,000 had been raised as of Monday afternoon.
To donate money through GoFundMe, visit http://bit.ly/2tSzcb9.