Lisa Gale could only think about her two small children when her Irishtown home burned to the ground on Thursday afternoon.
“All I was thinking was that everything the kids owned and all our memories were in that house,” Gale told The Western Star Saturday afternoon.
The fire completely destroyed the home, a property she shared with her fiancé Roger Gaulton and her two children, a boy 2.5 years old and a three-month old infant girl.
Thankful is the one that came across her lips when asked how she felt knowing there was nobody home at the time of the fire.
Firefighters were on the scene quickly but the blaze left the home in black rubble and nothing on the inside was salvageable.
Gale was visiting her mom in nearby Hughes Brook when she got the call telling her that the house was on fire. She contacted Gaulton to inform him of the fire and to get home as quick as possible to assess the damage.
It was only a matter of 10 minutes or less, she figures, from the time she got the call and when she showed up home to get a first-hand look.
What she saw shook her.
“When I got to the house it was complete gone. There wasn’t a wall left. You could see right through the back of it,” she said. “There’s absolutely nothing left to the house.”
The family dog, Zuma, was left unscathed and that was a relief for the family.
Gale had put Zuma in the shed, located about 15 feet from the house, before she visited her mom that afternoon.
According to Gale, the heat and smoke was so intense the firefighter had to be hosed down before he could into the house and bring Zuma to safety.
“He (the firefighter) said there was that much smoke he could hear the dog whining and howling, but he couldn’t see the dog through the smoke,” she said, noting Zuma was scared for awhile afterwards but is now doing just fine.
Gale thinks about the white Christening dresses, worn by her two children, lost in the fire. She thinks about all the clothes and toys they lost.
However, she’s thankful because she has her family safe and sound. She can always create new memories.
She had to spend a night with her mom in Hughes Brook on the day of the fire, but her insurance company really impressed her with quick action by having her family settled away into a chalet at Humber Valley Resort by Friday noon.
Family and friends have been very supportive, lending a helping hand where they can and giving the family things they need to start all over again.
“Me, the kids and Roger are Ok and I guess the rest doesn’t matter as long as we’re surviving,” she said.
The cause of the fire is still being determined.