One person was killed and a family are homeless following a collision and subsequent house fire on Sunday, September 17, 2023 north of Castleton.
At approximately 1 a.m. emergency services were dispatched to 3780 County Road 25 in the vicinity of Huycke Road after a vehicle struck a residence.
Mike Orrell (age 28) was sleeping in a downstairs bedroom, while his two children ages seven and two, along with his parents were sleeping upstairs.
Mike said he heard the crash, but didn’t know what it was until he saw light coming through his basement bedroom window.
“When I opened it I saw the fire so I came upstairs and looked.”
Seeing the truck on fire against the home, he quickly woke up his family including his parents Charlene and Don and his two children and called 9-1-1.
Charlene heard the impact, but she thought it was one of her grandchildren that had fallen out of bed.
Don said he ran up to the truck with the fire under the engine compartment.
“From the engine compartment the fire was going into the cab.”
“I couldn’t get him out because he was pinned under the steering wheel.”
Mike ran and got a fire extinguisher, “but it didn’t even touch the flames, it was so bad.”
Flames went into the roof of the newly built house and spread across the roof area.
Cramahe Township Fire Department, Brighton Township Fire Department and Trent Hills Fire Department attended the scene, but the lone occupant of the vehicle was pronounced deceased.
The Orrell family are still in shock from the incident and are grateful to be alive, but feel for the victim and the family.
The only thing saved from the fire was the clothes on their backs and a few family photos.
County Road 25 in the area of the collision was closed while members of the OPP Technical Collision Investigators spent most of the day investigating the scene.
It appears the vehicle left the roadway a considerable distance away from the house. The vehicle travelled along in the ditch portion area, struck a guide-wire to a hydro pole and hit the house.
Damage to the house is approximately $2.5 million.