News: Parents went to bed around 20 minutes before 7am fire that killed mum and two children

News: Parents went to bed around 20 minutes before 7am fire that killed mum and two children

Another Lincolnshire Highlights news story…

Two parents went to bed at 6.40am, just minutes before a tragic house fire that claimed the lives of the mother and her two children, it has emerged. 

Justine Collison, 32, her eight-year-old daughter Isabella and five-year-old son Harvey died after a fire that developed over a 20-minute period at around 7am in a chilly conservatory in Woodhill Road, Collingham on December 15, 2018. 

An inquest in Nottingham was told that the family had had visitors and there was “a party mood” in the house in the lead-up to the fire. 

After they left, the parents went to bed at around 6.40am. 

Flames developed as a result of an electrical fault shortly afterwards, before one of the neighbours alerted the fire service at 7am after she smelled smoke on the street.

Tragically, the mother and her two children died, although the father survived.

An earlier report from the inquest today revealed the verdict and some details about that night, but more details have since emerged about what happened.

The hearing was told that childrens’ bedroom doors were usually left open in case they woke and wanted to talk to their parents in the night. 

A part-time fire crew arrived in six minutes. 

  

The children’s grandmother was rescued alive from her bedroom.  

Fire officer Tom Archer said that she was shielded by keeping the door closed.

Two smoke alarms were found to be in working order on the ground floor of the detached house.  

All three died from the effects of inhaling smoke. 

Mr Collison was found on the floor of the master bedroom he shared with his wife.
Mr Archer said: “If he had been overwhelmed by smoke and collapsed, he would be in a better position.
“You are in an area of relative safety, cooler air and less smoke.” 

The hearing was told that the conservatory contained a number of electrical devices along with some Christmas decorations.

  

An inquest heard that checks had been carried out on all the electrics in the room, including a Christmas tree, electric piano and portable heater. 

Justine was found dead in the property, while he two children were rushed to QMC in Nottingham – they both died a short time after their arrival at the hospital.

(Image: Facebook/Collison family)

Detective sergeant Mark Shaw said their investigation revealed no suspicious circumstances or “third party” involvement.
He said: “Nothing of any cause or concern that this was started deliberately.” 

The cause of the fire remains unknown.

Coroner Mairin Casey recorded accidental death conclusions and told the family: “One can barely imagine the enormity of your loss, made even more poignant by the time of the year.”

The Nottinghamshire senior coroner said: “We can identify the room but from where in the room proved impossible. 

“Frustratingly, we are still unable to have the point identified.” 

Mr Collison also attended the inquest and was asked if he would like to enquire about the evidence.

A police officer at a cordon following the house fire in Collingham
(Image: Arron Chown/PA Wire)

He shook his head and said “no”. 

At the end of the hearing, the coroner read school tributes to the two children. 

Isabella was described as a “gentle, caring girl” who was always keen to check that her brother was settling in well at school. 

Harvey was often making models in the craft corner in class. 

One of his last creations was a cardboard handbag for his mother made for her because “she was always losing her phone.”

 



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