Almost a year after he was sent to hospital because of the Fort McMurray wildfire, Blair Harris will be forced to rebuild his life yet again — due to a fire in Bunyan's Cove that burned down his home in Newfoundland.
The Bonavista Peninsula cabin that Harris was living in caught fire overnight Wednesday, and he had to escape with only the clothes he had on his back.
He said the heat and flames from his wood stove spread to a wall inside his home as he slept, and he woke to find flames shooting up from the stove and plastic inside the home melting from the heat.
It's the second time Harris has faced fire in under a year. He was hospitalized due to smoke inhalation during the Fort McMurray wildfire. He had stayed behind for a few weeks to drive a water truck and supply fire trucks.
"Everything is gone again, second time," Harris told CBC on Thursday afternoon.
Harris said he lost some of his belongings, including an ATV, in the Fort McMurray fire. He's been back home for almost seven months, he said, after returning to be closer to his family.
Now that he's lost his home in Bunyan's Cove, he is looking for another permanent place to live.
"This was supposed to be my new beginning here in Newfoundland, but I guess it's a new beginning somewhere else now," he said.
"I'm going to look at this as one door closes, another one opens."
'Weird kind of luck'
Harris said he had to escape the burning building by sticking close to the wall farthest from the flames.
"I had enough space to get out," he said. "It's a weird kind of luck, but it's luck."
Percy Tucker. chief of the Bunyan's Cove Fire Department, said Harris had tried to extinguish the fire, but wasn't able to make any progress, so he went to a relative's house to call the fire department.
By the time firefighters got there, the cabin was fully engulfed.
Harris said whenever he looks at a video clip of the fire, he feels glad he wasn't inside.
He said he's thankful for everyone in Bunyan's Cove and the area who have offered to help out.