The burned and charred body of two and a half year old Kenneth Austin was found in the crib in which he met his death, following a flash fire that raced through the three room dwelling on the M.S. Nelles property last Friday afternoon.
The child, youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Austin, was asleep in the bedroom, as his mother did the ironing in the main room of the frame building. The mother was using a coal oil stove to heat the iron, as the building is not serviced with electricity. Turning off the stove, Mrs. Austin walked some hundred yards to Baker's Side Road, where the milkman leaves the daily supply of milk.
While there she was talking for a moment to a neighbor, when she saw smoke rising over the peach trees that surrounded the Austin home. Running back to the house, she screamed for her husband, who was working elsewhere on the Nelles property.
He did not at once respond, thinking that his wife was simply yelling for their other son, whose name is also Harry. However, he soon saw the smoke and ran to the scene, where he found the tiny building engulfed in flames.
His heroic efforts to rescue his son failed, as flames forced him back. He had to forcibly restrain the frantic mother who also attempted to get into the doomed structure.
Grimsby firemen under Fire Chief Alf LePage raced to the scene, and soon put the blaze out, but not soon enough to save the life of the Austin boy. The heavy fire truck crashed through a small bridge near the scene, but this did not hamper the efforts of the firemen.
Provincial Constable Ted Hope investigated the blaze, and Coroner Dr. A.F. McIntyre, after consulting with Crown Attorney E.H. Lancaster, announced that an inquest would not be held.
Funeral services were held from the Stonehouse Funeral Home on Saturday afternoon with Rev. E.A. Brooks officiating. Interment was in Queen's Lawn Cemetery.