One man died, and another was rushed to West Lincoln Memorial Hospital suffering from burns on Friday night, when fire completely destroyed a two-room shack on the property of J. Byers, North Grimsby Township. Dead is Michael Kola, aged about 58, known in this area as "Red Mike". He had lived in this district for over 20 years and had worked for several fruit growers during that time. At the time of the fatal blaze which took his life, Kola was employed by John Byers, as was his companion, Gordon Martin, whom police believe came here a short time ago from the Hawkesbury district.
Circumstances surrounding the death of "Red Mike" are shrouded in mystery, but it was assumed by police officers who investigated the case that Kola and Martin had been drinking heavily earlier in the afternoon and evening. No theory as to how the fire started in the tiny shack has been offered.
Martin was aroused from a deep sleep by the screams of Kola, who appeared to be in the area where the fire originated. Martin rushed from the building expecting Kola to follow. Kola failed to appear. It is believed that Martin suffered minor burns when he attempted to re-enter the building and help Kola escape, but he was unsuccessful. Kola's body was burned beyond recognition.
Corp. W. Coles investigated the fire, which was fought by Grimsby Fire Department. An unexplainable delay in turning in the alarm may or may not have brought about a different ending to the fate of Michael Kola.