Christmas tree needles were not cause of house fire which killed mum and kids

Fire investigators have ruled out Christmas tree needles as being the cause of a blaze which killed a mum and two children.

Justine Collison, 33, died in the fire at the family home along with daughter Izzy, eight, and five-year-old son Harvey.

Their RAF engineer dad Gavin Collison, 34, remains gravely ill after being rescued from the blaze on Saturday.

Locals speculated needles off a Christmas tree may have been ignited by the heat from decorative lights.

But a family friend told the Mirror yesterday that festive decorations had been ruled out as a cause.

The pal revealed investigators are still probing what caused the fire at the house in Collingham, Nottinghamshire.

An oil-fired radiator was removed from the detached property’s gutted conservatory on Monday.

The friend said: “There has been speculation that it was the Christmas tree but I can say that’s not the case.

“We still don’t know what caused it but a few things have been ruled out and that was one of them.”

Teaching assistant Justine’s mum Diane Fletcher, 53, who also lived with the family, survived unharmed.

Friends in Devon, where they previously lived, have set up a fundraising campaign for the family.

Friends who knew Justine described her as a “ray of sunshine’” with a “pure heart of gold”.

Lisa Ball, from Paignton, Devon, set up a Facebook fundraiser which has also attracted £10,000 in donations.

She posted: “Any funds raised will go to her husband and her mum to help pay for the funeral costs and to support the family.

“Anything that anyone can donate will be much appreciated.”

Another friend said: “Words can’t explain how I’m feeling. I’m completely heartbroken. I have lost my beautiful brave Justine and her babies.

“She was the closest thing I had to a big sister and always there for me to go to for words of wisdom and a bloody good laugh.

“She was a breath of fresh air and brought a ray of sunshine wherever she went. A pure heart of gold.”

To donate to the family’s fund, click here.

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