After a harrowing two weeks, all Danielle Bablich and Paul Stanczak are looking for is justice.
On Boxing Day, their over-decade-long dream of building a cottage in Georgian Bay went up in smoke. Ontario Provincial Police suspect arson is the cause of the fire which tore through their cottage on Glen Cedar Dr. in Tiny Township that was roughly 75 per cent complete. The couple had taken precautions to protect their property when they were away including installing locks and hiring professional tradespeople locally to help with the build.
“Our primary goal is to ensure that people in the community and anyone else can help the investigators and South Georgian police locate information that could link anyone to the site on the date of the fire,” Bablich says.
OPP are unable to disclose details about the suspect or suspects involved without compromising the investigation which is ongoing. They are, however, asking anyone who may have seen any suspicious activity, people, or vehicles in the area of 23 Glen Cedar Dr. between the hours of 2 to 5:30 a.m. on Dec. 26, 2021 to contact OPP investigators at 1-888-310-1122 or email@example.com. You can also report information anonymously to Crime Stoppers or call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). OPP couldn’t confirm whether the incident was a random or targeted attack.
“We want to make sure this person or people don’t do this to anyone else and are held responsible,” explained Stanczak.
It’s a devastating loss for the young couple who invested $425,000 of their life savings into the project and were in the process of acquiring insurance before the arson took place. They are unable to recoup any of the money and now face the additional cost of remediating the land. Paul’s brother has set up a GoFundMe for the couple, which, at the time of publication, has raised just over $30,000. While they’ve come to terms with the difficult understanding that they’ve lost the money they invested in the project, they’re focused on holding the culprit or culprits responsible.
“We need justice to close this and then we want to rebuild mentally and emotionally,” says Bablich. “If we can find the means to [rebuild] we will because this will not break us.”