Family of 7 struggles to find accommodations after house fire

1 / 3
Family of 7 struggles to find accommodations after house fire

A family of seven from Cornwall, P.E.I., are living on their front lawn, saying they haven't been able to find accommodations after their house was damaged in a fire.

Wade and Stacey Gallant were just returning home a week ago, when they noticed smoke around the house and the next thing they knew, their house was on fire.

"I watched the house go up so quick," said Wade.

No one was hurt, but the couple say ever since they've been struggling to find a place to stay.

Also living in the house were four of the Gallant's children — Dominique Gallant, 26, Brandon Gallant, 24, Chloe Paynter, 7, and Kianna Paynter, 6 — as well as Dominique's son, Bentley Gallant who is 4.

Immediately after the fire, the Red Cross found housing for the family at the University of Prince Edward Island, but that soon became problematic. 

"We have a dog and they don't allow a dog," said Wade. "The family slept up in the room and I slept in the car with the dog the first night. It was a little tough with everything going on."

'I called all kinds of places'

After that, Wade said he managed to find a hotel with a vacancy, but only for a few days.

Since then, every place the family has reached out to has told them they're booked for the summer or can't accommodate all seven of them.

"I called all kinds of places — campgrounds, cottages, motels and it's a bad time of year to be trying to find accommodations," said Wade.

"It's been tough. I mean, you want to keep everything as normal as you can for the kids …I mean, we all want to stay together. We've all been through a tragic incident," Stacey said.

Wade said most places won't have openings for at least a month.

Camping on their front lawn

The family's insurance company has told the family they likely won't be able to move back into their house for at least another two months.

As a solution, the family has rented a camper, which they've parked on the lawn front of their home.

Wade said fitting the family of seven in that kind of limited space has been a struggle.

"With a large family, it gets old pretty quick," he said.

The couple's eldest son Brandon has purchased a tent to allow everyone more room.

For now, the Gallants said they'll do whatever it takes to keep the family together, in the hopes of finding a place to stay by the time the kids go back to school.

- MORE P.E.I. NEWS | Man charged following collision near Hillsborough Bridge

- MORE P.E.I. NEWS | Islanders to climb active volcano for charity