Toddler Dies After Falling Into Grease Trap

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A 3-year-old boy is dead after falling into a grease trap outside a Tim Hortons restaurant in Rochester, New York, according to authorities. The heartbreaking news underscores the importance of strong, safely secured lids for septic tanks and grease traps.

Rochester Police Department Investigator Frank Camp says it appears the toddler made his way outside the restaurant and fell through an improperly secured lid into the establishment’s grease trap. He was found within minutes of being reported missing, but attempts to revive the child were unsuccessful.

“We have a horrifying episode here that happened today,” Camp says in a TV interview. “We’re asked all the time, ‘What's the worst thing you encounter as a police officer?’ and this is number one.”

In a statement provided to CNN, Tim Hortons offered its condolences to the family and friends of the young boy. “What occurred today was a tragedy, and on behalf of the Tim Hortons family, we offer our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the young boy who passed away. Tim Hortons is fully cooperating with authorities. As there is an ongoing police investigation, we have no further comment at this time.”

Camp was emotional when he recounted the incident for reporters:

Meanwhile, WHEC News reporters asked State Assemblyman Harry Bronson, the Monroe County Health Department and the New York Health Department about grease trap safety laws. In a dance that’s all too familiar to those accustomed to local-level politics, the state says it’s the county’s responsibility and the county says it’s a state-mandated issue. 

Bronson, however, says he’ll look into it. “It’s not something I thought about previously,” he tells WHEC. “But this tragedy alerts us to this issue, and we need to make sure these traps are safe."



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