Police investigating home invasion and house fire near Dorchester
LONDON, ONT. -- Few details are known at this time, but CTV News has learned two armed men entered a home on Marion Street and removed an occupant and tied him up to a tree outside in the backyard. The home was then set on fire.
A devastated Jennifer McCulloch brought her two girls to the property early Sunday morning. The home is owned by McCulloch's ex-husband, and her girls live there part-time.
"We split the summer, so when he told me what happened I thanked god they were with me," says McCulloch.
Looking from the road back to the burned home, McCulloch tried to hold back tears.
"Devastation. I'm just disappointed that someone would do that," says McCulloch.
"I'm so grateful that the girls were with me & they are alive."
Sunday morning a pair of OPP vehicles were guarding the scene, but officers were tight lipped.
There is no word yet from police on suspects, or a motive for the home invasion.
Just after 11 p.m. Saturday, fire crews were paged to the rural property in Thames Centre.
"Dorchester, and Thorndale fire responded and when we got here the structure was fully involved so it was fully defensive, what we call surround and drown," says Ken Armstrong, Thames Centre Fire Chief.
Armstrong says firefighters drew water from the gravel pit across the road to douse the ranch-style home and nearby trailer which was also set on fire.
Armstrong was back on scene Sunday to take photos in the daylight and send them to the Ontario Fire Marshal's (OFM) office.
He says the OFM will not be attending, as there is nothing left of the structure to investigate.
For now, McCulloch and her daughters are trying to process what happened to her ex and his home.
"They (the girls) couldn’t believe it, so I had to bring them here to see it for them to actualize that it's real," says McCulloch.
"We're going to be Ok. Belongings are replaceable but people aren’t so most important thing is everyone is safe."