Skip to content

Collingwood man charged with murder was Brampton fire captain

The City of Brampton confirmed James Schwalm has since been fired for cause, he is accused of killing his wife
A cropped photo from Twitter shows James Schwalm being promoted to the rank of captain with Brampton Fire and Emergency Services.

The Collingwood man accused of killing his wife last week was a captain with Brampton Fire and Emegency Services, ​but he has been fired. 

A statement from the City of Brampton confirmed James Schwalm, 38, of Collingwood was a city employee with fire and emergency services, and that he has been notified of his termination with cause. 

Schwalm is facing charges for second-degree murder and indignity to a dead body related to the death of his wife Ashley Schwalm, 40, whose body was discovered in a fiery car crash on Jan. 26 just before 6 a.m. According to police, the crash occurred off Arrowhead Road. A grey Mitsubishi Outlander sport utility vehicle careened down an embankment and caught fire after landing. 

Police confirmed the identity of both the victim, Ashley Schwalm, and the accused, James Schwalm, on Feb. 3, which is when the City of Brampton heard about the charges, according to a statement issued by the city's communication department. 

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the impacted family and friends, and those grieving the loss during this very difficult time," reads the statement. "Our priority is the safety, health and well-being of employees and the community. The City is taking all steps to ensure members of the Brampton Fire and Emergency Services team, and employees across the organization have the necessary supports available to them." 

Ontario Provincial Police Sgt. Bill Dickson did confirm late on Friday that James and Ashley Schwalm were married, but declined to answer other questions about the crash and the case. 

"There is a publication ban in effect," Dickson told CollingwoodToday late Friday. "We can't say anything evidentiary."

The City of Brampton also declined to comment further as the matter is before the courts. 

Schwalm was held for a bail hearing, and none of the charges against him have been proven in court. 

The investigation is ongoing, with the Collingwood OPP crime unit getting support from the Office of the Fire Marshal, Ontario Forensic Pathology Services, the Office of the Chief Coroner for Ontario, OPP Forensic Identification Services, OPP Regional Support Team, OPP Technical Collision Investigators and Reconstructionists, and the OPP Emergency Response Team (ERT).

Anyone with any information is asked to contact the Collingwood OPP at 705-445-4321 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or