Thursday, June 4, 2020

Community rallying for fire victim, clinic re-opens

A fire on Queen Street in Chatham on Friday, November 11 (Tami Schram)
A fire on Queen Street in Chatham on Friday, November 11 (Tami Schram)

The community is rallying for the victim of a recent explosion and fire in Chatham.

Meanwhile, a physiotherapy clinic that was destroyed in the blaze has found a new home.

Colette Vroom (GoFundMe)

Colette Vroom suffered serious injuries after the blast on Queen Street in Chatham on Friday, November 11.

She remains in hospital as a result.

“We are thankful she survived, however she lost virtually everything she owned,” said John Vroom, who started a GoFundMe page for her.

“Multiple painful surgeries await her, and she will be hospitalized for the next several months. People have approached us asking if they could help or donate funds. Colette did not have insurance, so as a family we feel it prudent to provide an avenue for those who want to help her in this way. The funds collected here will be given to Colette to help her restart her life.”

In just over a day, over $2,000 has been raised.

The Chatham Physiotherapy Clinic, which was destroyed in the blaze, is up and running once again.

John Spirou, owner of the business, told the Sydenham Current they are now operating at 857 Grand Ave West, suite 109 in the Chatham Professional Building.

“It’s horrifying,” Spirou said of the experience. “The fire was devastating, we feel horrible for the person seriously injured in the fire. It is a horrifying experience to go through, the feeling is a sinking one.”

Spirou said many people in the community stepped up to offer them a space to re-open in.

“There has been a lot of outpouring of support,” he said. “Lots of thoughts and prayers.”

Spirou said many people from Wallaceburg utilize their services, as they are one of the few OHIP-covered clinics in the region.

Chatham-Kent fire officials say the investigation is on-going and the cause remains unknown.

Fire investigators from the Office of the Fire Marshal are currently working with the Chatham-Kent Police Service and Chatham-Kent Fire and Emergency Services to determine the cause.

A damage estimate if still to be determined.

Here is our coverage on this story:

– Update: Explosion rocks Chatham building

– Investigation on-going after Chatham fire

– Fully engulfed fire in Chatham (Photos)

– Photo credit: Tami Schram (top), GoFundMe, (inset)

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