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Collingham fire: Fatal blaze ’caused by electrical fault’


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Justine, Isabella and Harvey Collison all died in the fire at their home in December last year

A mother and her two children were killed in a house fire which was “likely” caused by an electrical fault, an inquest has heard.

Justine Collison, 32, died in the blaze in Woodhill Road in Collingham, Nottinghamshire, on 15 December.

Isabella, eight, and Harvey, five, died in hospital. Mrs Collison’s husband Gavin also sustained serious injuries.

A coroner recorded a conclusion of accidental death for Mrs Collison and her children.

The fire took just 22 minutes to become “extremely well developed”, the inquest at Nottingham Coroner’s Court heard.

Mrs Collison was found dead in her bed, while Isabella and Harvey were found unresponsive in the house.

Harvey suffered a brain injury and his life support was stopped several hours later in hospital. He died in his grandparents’ arms.

Isabella had a cardiac arrest at the scene, and died about two hours later.

The children’s grandmother, Diane Fletcher, also survived the blaze along with Mr Collison.

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Flowers and messages were left outside the home in Woodhill Road following the fire

The inquest heard Mr and Mrs Collison had been socialising with friends until the early hours of the morning and had parted company about 20 minutes before the fire started.

Neighbours had tried to alert the family about the fire but the blaze was so severe they were unable to get near the property.

Emergency services were called to the scene at about 07:00 GMT to find the house “well alight”.

Tom Archer, group manager at Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service, told the inquest the fire had started in the conservatory, which contained Christmas decorations, a TV and disco lights.

Although it was most likely an electrical accident, he said no exact item was found to be the cause.

Mr Archer said: “The most probable [cause] is accidental electrical. We looked at the electrical supply in the conservatory and there was no evidence one thing had caused this fire.”

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The door of the house had been decorated with a Christmas wreath

Coroner Mairin Casey offered her deepest sympathies to Mr Collison who had “mercifully survived the tragedy”, adding: “It is my fervent hope that you will pull together in this grieving process.”

The coroner said Isabella was known as “a gentle and caring girl who will be truly missed by those who knew her”, while Harvey was “very creative, kind and caring”.

Mrs Collison was described as “incredibly kind”.

She concluded all three deaths were accidental, adding: “I accept that the causes of deaths were that all three died as a result of smoke inhalation.”

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